Chris Robshaw and Barbarians Covidiots cost cash-strapped England more than £1m in Sky Sports bill and wagesJanuary 29, 2022
CHRIS ROBSHAW and his Barbarians Covidiots cost cash-strapped England more than £1million.
The ex-Red Rose skipper and team-mates had TWO nights out before Sunday's game was scrapped.
RFU chiefs face a seven-figure TV bill to Sky Sports, who were showing the game as the final part of a £30m deal — plus tens of thousands to sponsors.
England boss Eddie Jones binned their warm-up ahead of a Six Nations title-shot in Italy next weekend as they feared the Baa-Baas could infect England
Robshaw is now under investigation, along with Richard Wigglesworth and other member of the boozy ‘Dirty Dozen’.
They broke strict Covid-19 rules agreed ahead of the Twickenham clash.
Guilty game-wreckers face charges of bringing the game into disrepute.
Red-faced Robshaw, 34, said: “I want to express my deepest apologies for breaching the Barbarians’ Covid-19 restrictions by leaving the hotel post- training with some of my team-mates.
“A huge effort went into conducting this match in a safe fashion and it was irresponsible of me to break the protocols which are put in place to protect players, staff and the public.
“I understand that my actions have ultimately contributed to the cancellation of Sunday’s match.
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“And I am sincerely remorseful for my role in undoing all the amazing work that went into trying to make it happen.
“I promise that I will learn from this mistake and ensure something like this never happens again.”
England’s squad are also set to be hit in the pocket on match fees that were reduced from the current £17,000 Test cheque as the game was uncapped.
And Robshaw’s regret was undermined by him liking a tweet from Piers Morgan saying that the players had just gone out for a business meeting.
Twickenham chief Bill Sweeney fumed: “We are incredibly disappointed to be calling a halt to this fixture.
“We know how much fans were looking forward to seeing the teams play.
“However, our priority is to protect the health and safety of the England squad and the other international teams they will go up against this autumn.
“There has been a great deal of effort put into Covid codes of conduct and planning for games, including cooperation with Premiership clubs to release additional players to fulfil the fixture safely.
“We are all incredibly frustrated and disappointed that the actions of a number of Barbarians players mean we no longer feel it is safe for the game to go ahead.”
Wigglesworth, Sean Maitland and Jackson Wray along with a number of other Saracens stars were among the 12 players.
And Saracens released a statement apologising for the behaviour of Wigglesworth and co.
It read: “Management has spoken to the players involved about their responsibilities of representing Saracens away from the club.
“And the impact that these actions have on everyone associated with the club.”
Former England scrum-half Wigglesworth, 37, who has just left Sarries after ten years, added: “Embarrassed and beyond gutted to have let down Vern Cotter and everyone at Barbarians FC as well as the RFU.
“Should not have happened and for that I am truly sorry. I’ve let a lot of people down including myself and wish I’d done it differently. Sorry again.”
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