Jonathan Davies blasts ‘shambles’ as men’s match in historic Barbarians double-bill called off at last minute
Former Wales captain Jonathan Davies has blasted what he has called a “shambles” at Twickenham after the Barbarians men’s match was called off for the second year in a row.
The match was due to be a historic occasion as the men’s and women’s Barbarians rugby teams were due to play a double bill on the same day, with the men facing Samoa and the women South Africa.
However, the men’s game was cancelled 90 minutes before kick-off due to a number of coronavirus cases in the invitational side. Four players and two members of staff in the Barbarians side tested positive before kick-off.
The women’s game against South Africa went ahead as planned.
Last year 13 Barbarians were fined and punished for breaking their Covid bubble and causing the game with England at Twickenham to be called off.
An RFU statement read: “There will be a full refund for fans. We appreciate that this is an extremely disappointing situation for the many fans due to attend, but the safety of all members of both teams is our priority.”
‘Not good enough’
Speaking before the women’s game was shown on BBC, Jonathan Davies said it was an “utter shambles” and commiserated with the disappointed Samoa side.
“For the Barbarians this is a shambles,” he said. “Another shambles on the back of last year.
“It’s a great club and I loved playing for them, and the social side was a big part of that. But you have to curb that and the important part was to be there today.
“It meant so much to the Samoans, to come here, play on this stage, some of them playing their last games. This is an opportunity for them to show what they can do and promote their country.”
He added: “They have promoted the game and pulled all the stops to get here without their full strength squad, ironically, due to Covid restrictions some could not travel.
“And now this! They get all this way here and it is called off so soon to kick off. It’s not good enough.
“After the shambles of last year too when some of the Barbarians broke the bubble and had to be replaced, it is unforgivable.”
The cancellation was particularly disappointing for former Ireland and Lions Rob Kearney and Samoa’s Joe Tekori who had planned to retire from international rugby after the match.
“The room went very quiet. It was going to be my last game for my country and I did not want it to end like this,” Joe Tekori said. “It is so disappointing. To finish like this is so bad.”
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