‘Seething’ Barbaraians president considers legal action against Davies and Hartley

‘Seething’ Barbarians president considers legal action against Jonathan Davies and Dylan Hartley for labeling Saturday’s 11th hour cancellation in Samoa as ‘a total mess’ and ‘beyond embarrassing’

  • Barbarians abandoned their game against Samoa just 90 minutes before kick-off
  • There were six positive Cvoid-19 tests in the Barbarian Camp before the game
  • Dylan Hartley and Jonathan Davies were fiercely critical of the Barbarians



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Barbarians president John Spencer is considering legal action against Dylan Hartley and Jonathan Davies for their caustic criticism after the Barbarians game against Samoa was canceled 90 minutes before kick-off on Saturday.

Six positive tests in the Barbarians camp meant the match at Twickenham was curtailed, but Wales international Davies said the cancellation was an ‘absolute mess’, with Hartley calling it ‘beyond embarrassment’.

Last year, a Barbarians game against England was canceled at short notice when 13 players broke Covid protocols shortly before the game.

Saturday's clash between Barbarians and Samoa was called off after a Covid-19 outbreak

Saturday’s clash between Barbarians and Samoa was called off after a Covid-19 outbreak

Wales international Jonathan Davies said the cancellation was an 'absolute mess'

Wales international Jonathan Davies said the cancellation was an 'absolute mess'

Wales international Jonathan Davies said the cancellation was an ‘absolute mess’

Speak with The timesSpencer said: ‘I am furious about the comments from Jonathan Davies and Dylan Hartley.

“We are accused of being disorganized and a mess and our main concern is to ensure that the barbarians do not cause any long-term harm. As a lawyer, I seriously consider our [legal] position on this and it’s on my mind.

“We couldn’t have been more careful this time around and the players have been more than responsible. The team and management were tested every day and we also had PCR tests on Friday and we had a team ready to go on the field that was Covid free.”

Davies said the 11 a.m. cancellation was “not good enough.”

“This is an utter mess and disgrace,” he said. “They have been promoting the game and Samoa has pulled out all the stops to get here without their full team, ironically some were unable to travel due to Covid restrictions. And now this! They’re coming all the way here and it’s getting canceled right before kick-off. It’s not good enough.

“Even after last year’s mess, when a number of Barbarians burst through the bubble and had to be replaced, it’s unforgivable.”

The Barbarians claimed in a statement on Saturday that the decision to pull the plug had been taken out of their hands.

Dylan Hartley labeled the cancellation of the match in Samoa by the Barbarians as 'beyond embarrassment'

Dylan Hartley labeled the cancellation of the match in Samoa by the Barbarians as 'beyond embarrassment'

Dylan Hartley labeled the cancellation of the match in Samoa by the Barbarians as ‘beyond embarrassment’

Barbarians president John Spencer considers legal action against the duo

Barbarians president John Spencer considers legal action against the duo

Barbarians president John Spencer considers legal action against the duo

Their statement read: ‘Despite the recent positive Covid tests, we had an attack today 23 which all tested negative this morning.

“They were ready and excited to hit the field. The crew adhered to the letter with Covid protocols throughout the week, including daily lateral flow tests.

“Following today’s results, we have been working hard with the RFU, Public Health England and the testing committee to find a way for us to play.

“Unfortunately, it was concluded on medical grounds that there was a risk to players on both sides if the game went ahead. Our players are devastated that they couldn’t play today.”

Nearly 41,000 tickets had been sold for the match, including a double-header with the women’s equivalent match. That match went on and 29,000 were still there to watch it.

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