Footage emerges of seven Barbarians players as they ‘spent over £500’ while playing ‘mental’ drinking games as they breached Covid rules leading to England game cancellation
- RFU chiefs pulled the England vs Barbarian game after two separate breaches
- Rugby Onslaught has now seen a video of several players drinking in a pub
- Chris Robshaw appears to be the centre of attention during the session
- Jackson Wray, Manu Vunipola and Sean Maitland are also among the group
Former England captain Chris Robshaw and his Barbarians team-mates could face police action after video evidence showed them breaking strict Covid-19 Government regulations banning gatherings of more than six people indoors.
The video footage shows Robshaw and the players at the Running Horse pub in Mayfair ahead of their now cancelled match against England.
At one point in the clip, scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, who has been capped 33 times for England, leans over to Ireland international Fergus McFadden and shouts: ‘Fergus, f***ing drink it!’ Off camera, another player is heard goading a team-mate and shouting: ‘In your gut! In your gut!’
Video footage has emerged showing seven Barbarians players breaking coronavirus rules, including Chris Robshaw (left)
Rugby Onslaught has got hold of a video of several high profile members of the side drinking in a pub together
The Rugby Football Union (RFU), which has lost £1million as a result of the cancelled game, has now launched an investigation after Robshaw and other Barbarian players left the bio-secure team hotel on Park Lane on Tuesday night to go to the pub. The following night Robshaw and 11 others dined out in an Italian restaurant.
On Saturday night, a staff member at the Running Horse said: ‘They easily spent over £500. I told them they can’t sit together and that they looked like they were part of [superhero film] the Avengers.
‘They sort of separated and played a drinking game. It got a bit out of hand. As part of the game they had seven drinks each at one point.
‘They were here for at least three hours. They wanted to eat but we didn’t do food, it was just drink after drink after drink.
‘They were very nice, I thought they would be a problem with the size. I asked them if they were athletes and they said, “no”.
The event took place the night before Robshaw and 11 others dined out in a restauarant
Sean Maitland is another one of the stars present during the events at the alleged Mayfair pub
‘It was mental, they even said they would be back later this week but I guess that’s not happening now.’
Robshaw, who is married to classical singer Camilla Kerslake, issued a grovelling apology later in the week.
‘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,’ he said.
On Saturday night it emerged that the players who breached the rules could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute.
Richard Wigglesworth (centre) was another player among those to go out for dinner
Prince Harry’s former bodyguard, Bill Renshaw, was overseeing security and realised that a group of players had gone missing after none of them answered their hotel-room phones.
The investigation featured extensive CCTV footage, with the players alleged to have visited Italian restaurant Sergio’s on Great Titchfield Street in central London.
Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the RFU, said: ‘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, and 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.’
The Government guidelines state that there can be gatherings of more than six people for elite sportspeople and their coaches, but only if necessary for competition and training.