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Jonathan Davies blasts ‘shambles’ as men’s match in historic Barbarians double-bill called off at last minute

27 Nov 2021 3 minute read
Jonathan Davies. Picture by the BBC

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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2 years ago

Jonathan would have been secure in his commentator’s box well away from the herd below. Does he know that this Covid bug is well contained ? I think not. It is mutating as fast as rabbits breed, or even ticks, so a match gets called off late in the day. So what ? Perhaps he should take time out to discuss the situation in SA with some of the Cardiff and Scarlets players when they eventually return here. Eye opener. SA Gov have made next to no progress with vaxxing and are a seed bed for chaos. Many other countries… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

This was mindless act to let thousands of travelling fans attend from all four corners of the UK, only then to scrap the match minutes before kickoff

At fault is the English RFU by arranging a match between the Barbarians & South Africa even though Covid rates were rising in England, more so the English Tory Government, who had prior knowledge that South Africa was struggling with vaccinating its population and had a new more deadly Covid variant spreading amongst its population, but still they allowed travellers to & from South Africa?

Last edited 2 years ago by Y Cymro
2 years ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

The match was BaaBaas vs Samoa, not South Africa. The SA contingent were here since the Autumn series so were based somewhere in UK. However that is not the point. JD’s reported comments suggest that like so many others he wanted the penny and the bun. All events are vulnerable to a Covid based interruption these days. Local public health conditions can drive decisions just as much as a spate of adverse tests among players so everything is at risk of last minute changes. It’s tough but if people insist on having these events then it’s going to be a… Read more »

2 years ago
Reply to  hdavies15


Last edited 2 years ago by Mark

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