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The Bath squad update that should worry the 13 Barbarians players charged by the RFU

By Liam Heagney

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It’s a good job Saracens have been relegated and don’t have a Gallagher Premiership campaign this winter as they could have been left scratching around for additional players if a warning about Tom de Glanville contained in a Bath squad update is anything to go by.


Saracens provided eleven players to the Barbarians for last month’s planned fixture at Twickenham, only for the match to be cancelled after it was found that a chunk of the Baa-Baas squad had broken the virus protection protocols.

It resulted in a furious RFU calling 13 Barbarians players to account for their behaviour, charging them with misconduct following the embarrassing cancellation of the Quilter Cup match with England which cost the union a reputed £1million in much-needed revenue.

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Bath’s Beno Obano guests on All Access, the RugbyPass interview series

Ex-England captain Chris Robshaw, new Leicester signing Richard Wigglesworth (who joined from Saracens) and Saracens’ back row Jackson Wray were among a contingent of players who publicly apologised on social media for their behaviour which led to the match cancellation.

The RFU investigation into the fiasco will continue next week as disciplinary hearings are set to start on Tuesday and a squad update issued by Bath on Thursday evening suggested the penalties could be punishing. Having trained with England at a three-day camp in early October, Bath’s Tom de Glanville was allowed to join the Barbarians squad for their match with England.

Updating their squad ahead of their 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership new season opener at home to promoted Newcastle on Saturday, the Bath website wrote: “Tom de Glanville – Although Tom is plying his trade at full-back, he has the ability to cover wing, but the 20-year-old is currently undergoing review with a potential ban looming following the cancellation of the Barbarians’ fixture last month.”


This description was later updated to read: “Tom is fully fit and plying his trade at full-back as well as having the ability to cover wing. We await the results of the review following the cancellation of the Barbarians’ fixture last month.”

The October 29 statement by the RFU after it had charged 13 players – which they didn’t name – read: “The players will face a range of charges including individual breaches of the protocols (e.g. leaving the hotel without permission or without informing organisers of their whereabouts) and providing false statements during an investigation.

“The RFU recognises the pressure public scrutiny is placing on the players and therefore it will publish players’ names, full judgements and sanctions after the hearings have concluded. There is no sanction table applicable to charges brought under rule 5.12, therefore the independent panel can issue a range of sanctions at their discretion – including fines and/or match bans and/or any other suitable sanction.”

A ban for de Glanville would be a disappointing conclusion to a positive few months where he featured in eight of Bath’s ten post-lockdown matches, including the Premiership semi-final at Exeter, before being called up for England training by Eddie Jones. He has been selected at full-back for Saturday’s league opener versus Newcastle.


Bath’s squad bulletin also contained updates on England caps Joe Cokanasiga, Ruaridh McConnochie, Semesa Rokoduguni and Anthony Watson. “Joe continues to improve and return to fitness following his extensive knee injury, which kept him out on the sidelines for 16 months.

“Ruaridh is currently on England’s reserve list with a full flurry of International games coming up but is fully invested in Bath and the start of the 2020/21 campaign. Semesa is another of our players who is fit and ready for the beginning of the new campaign. Anthony has recently been back at the club for treatment on a very minor injury, but the British and Irish Lion and England international will return to camp to help Eddie Jones’ side in the Autumn Nations Cup.”

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The Bath squad update that should worry the 13 Barbarians players charged by the RFU