RFU Disciplinary Charges: Barbarian FC Players

8 December 2020

An independent disciplinary panel chaired by Philip Evans QC has today published its judgment on the hearing of 13 Barbarian FC players, including Bath Rugby's Tom de Glanville. The players have been charged by the RFU following breaches of the Covid Code of Conduct under Rule 5.12: conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or Game.

The breaches which included misleading the investigation led to the cancelation of the England v Barbarians fixture scheduled for Sunday 25 October due to concerns over the health risk to other Barbarian players and management as well as the potential risk to other teams and the integrity of the Autumn Nations tournament.

Tom is an outstanding young man and from minute one has taken responsibility for his actions, acknowledging that there were things that were done wrong by him and by others", commented Stuart Hooper, Bath Rugby's DoR.


“His response to this situation has been very mature and we will work with him to ensure it is used as an opportunity to learn and grow.”

“He does not take this ruling lightly and knows to look no further than at himself to understand why this has happened. He has our full support and a huge career ahead of him. We will be by his side every step of the way.”


All players accepted the charges and the independent panel has determined a range of sanctions according to the severity of the breaches.

The total charges across 13 players are 85 weeks of match bans; 44 weeks are suspended subject to conditions being met, 41 weeks of bans are to be taken concurrently, players have been fined a total of 18.5 weeks salary and given a total of 630 hours of community service. 

The sanctions reflect the seriousness of the charges which include behaving in a way that ignored the public at large and the Rugby community were complying with and deliberately compromising an investigation being carried out by the RFU as swiftly as the circumstances demanded.

Tom de Glanville's charge was made according to the considerations held within group three - Younger players who can be distinguished in terms of the seriousness of their offending because of their age and their position within the group.

Group Three Sanction - Relating specifically to Tom de Glanville

1. A 2-week immediate suspension

2. 50 hours of unpaid rugby community work.

3. 1 week’s wages reduced from 2 weeks as a result of mitigation.

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Further information relating to the full incident can be found below:

Players faced three charges for breaching Rule 5.12 with conduct prejudicial to the Interests of the Union or Game.

For events on 20 October and attending a public house with at least six other players and thereby breached (i) agreed Covid protocols, which were in place to maintain a bio-secure-bubble at the Barbarians training camp, and/or (ii) the ‘Rule of Six’ established by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

For events on the evening of the 21 October 2020 relating to visits to one or more separate bars and a restaurant.

Each of the players who gathered on those evenings participated in a gathering of more than six persons; these were not reasonably necessary for work purposes; and not necessary for an elite sportsperson for a competition or training. They attracted widespread adverse publicity; potentially put other members of the squad at risk of COVID-19; and /or ultimately led to the cancellation of the England v Barbarians match.

(All players except for Kerrod charged). Related to providing a false account to the RFU about what they had done on the evening of the 21 October when the matters were being investigated during Thursday the 22 October 2020.

All players accepted all charges brought against them.

Group One (Alex Lewington, Fergus McFadden, Juan Pablo Socino, Christopher Robshaw, Richard Wigglesworth and Jackson Wray)

Players who went out both on 21 and 22 October and provided a false account.

A 5-week suspension for each of the two central offences that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. These are to run concurrently and are reduced from 10 weeks for each offence as a result of their timely acceptance of culpability and the players other mitigation. Three weeks of the suspension will be suspended subject to two conditions;

There is no further off-field offending by the players for the period of one year from the date of this judgment. 

Lewington, Robshaw, Wray and Wigglesworth are to conduct 50 hours of unpaid rugby community work to be completed before 19 October 2021. Socino and McFadden to conduct 60 hours of unpaid rugby community work.

A total fine of 2 weeks’ wages reduced from 4 weeks as a result of mitigation.

As McFadden is no longer a professional rugby player and in a period of transition into a new career and in the circumstances the panel will not impose a financial penalty on him.

Group Two (Calum Clark, Sean Maitland and Tim Swinson)

The older and more experienced players who went out only on the Wednesday evening and then gave a false account.

Sanction

A 4-week suspension, reduced from8 weeks as a result of their timely acceptance of culpability and their other mitigation. Three weeks of that sanction will be suspended subject to two conditions;

There is no further off-field offending by them for the period of one year from the date of this Judgment.

Sean Maitland and Tim Swinson are to conduct 50 hours of unpaid rugby community work. In the case of Calum Clark it will be 60 hours.

A fine of 1.5 week’s wages, reduced from 3 weeks as a result of their mitigation.

Group Three (Joel Kpoku, Manu Vunipola & Tom de Glanville)

Younger players who can be distinguished in terms of the seriousness of their offending because of their age and their position within the group.

Sanction

A 3-week suspension, reduced from 6 weeks as a result of their timely acceptance of culpability and other mitigation. The panel agreed to suspend all 3 weeks of that sanction subject to two conditions;

  1. There is no further off-field offending by them for the period of one year from the date of this judgment.
  2. Joel Kpoku, Manu Vunipola and Thomas de Glanville are to conduct 50 hours of unpaid rugby community work.

A fine of 1 week’s wages reduced from 2 weeks as a result of mitigation.

Group 4 (Simon Kerrod)

Simon Kerrod went out but only on the Tuesday evening; he did not provide a false account. The panel accept that he did not necessarily leave the hotel with the intention of going to the pub but when invited he went without question and when he did so he knew that he was outside of the hotel in breach of the Code of Conduct. The panel concluded leaving the hotel through the fire exit was a deliberate breach of the Code of Conduct.

Although his culpability was less he has to share responsibility for the collective harm that the group caused by their actions.

Sanction

A 2 week suspension reduced from 4 weeks due to timely acceptance of culpability and other mitigation.

A fine of 1 week’s wages reduced from 2 weeks as a result of his mitigation.

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