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Sport

Barbarians will feel 'stupid, embarrassed' after quarantine breach-Woodward

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - England Rugby Press Conference - Pennyhill Park Hotel, Bagshot, Britain - January 29, 2002 England head coach Clive Woodward REUTERS/Action Images

(Reuters) - Former England coach Clive Woodward says the Barbarian players who breached COVID-19 quarantine rules and forced Sunday’s non-cap match against England to be cancelled will be ashamed of their actions.

England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) said the game had been called off after several Barbarian players had left their hotel rooms without the permission of organisers on Wednesday.

The discovery of a further breach of COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday had given it no choice but to cancel the contest at Twickenham Stadium, the RFU added.

Woodward, who coached England to World Cup glory in 2003 and has represented the Barbarians, said the guilty players had disappointed all stakeholders with their transgression.

"It's a difficult and strange rugby landscape at present but... I'm disappointed and gobsmacked by the mass Barbarians 'breakout' on Wednesday when 12 of their squad descended on a restaurant," Woodward wrote in a column here for the Daily Mail.

“It now transpires there was another group dining out on Tuesday... health comes first at all times right now and sportsmen should be setting a better example. Those players involved must be feeling stupid and embarrassed.

“... What a horrible mess. Rugby needs all the help it can get from TV and sponsors at present and both have been badly let down by this.”

Eddie Jones’ England were hoping to get game time this weekend at Twickenham ahead of their final Six Nations game in Italy on Oct. 31.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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