The chairman of Bedford Blues has hit out at the RFU after they apparently refused to postpone a game despite 14 players taking ill on the eve of their match.
Geoff Irvine says the RFU failed to take into consideration the health and safety of players as the virus spread on Friday.
Bedford were set to take on London Scottish when the illness struck.
The club released a statement this afternoon: “As Chairman of Bedford Blues, I believe our supporters deserve some clarification on events last weekend. Rumours have circulated since our 23-26 defeat to London Scottish on Saturday afternoon – namely that we had asked for the game to be postponed due to illness.
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“About a week ago, a few players came down with a sickness bug which left them extremely dehydrated and lacking energy. By Friday, that number had risen to 14 players.
“As our situation became more desperate we contacted the RFU to see whether it was possible to postpone the game, much like London Irish had done when they were unable to secure accommodation in Jersey for their scheduled game on 15th September.
“With 14 players sick as well as injuries to Pat Tapley, Mark Flanagan, Harry Sheppard, Will Hooley, Justin Blanchet, Harry Davies and Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, we felt this was an extraordinary situation that met the criteria for a postponement.
“Unfortunately our request was declined, despite the risk of infecting the opposition players and the bug spreading further.”
“As such, Mike assembled a squad of players who gave everything on Saturday afternoon despite being far from 100 percent. They left everything out there (quite literally in Dean Adamson’s case) and came so close to pulling off an unlikely win which would have seemed impossible if you had seen them during the week. For that, I can only thank the lads for their courageous efforts and never give up attitude.
“I am, of course, very disappointed that player welfare was not considered more important by the powers that be and our players were unable to recover fully from the bug which went around the camp.
“Finally, I want to thank everyone who came out to support the lads on Saturday afternoon. I know that they appreciated every clap and cheer throughout the 80 minutes and were bitterly disappointed to lose the game.”
The RFU told RugbyPass in a statement that: “We did not receive a request to postpone the match, and have contacted Bedford Blues to clarify their statement.”
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