RFU reviewing England v Barbarians after COVID-19 protocol breach

(Reuters) - The Rugby Football Union on Thursday is reviewing whether England's non-cap match against Barbarians can go ahead as scheduled on Sunday after several Barbarian players breached COVID-19 quarantine protocols.

On Wednesday, a number of Barbarian players left their hotel rooms without permission of the organisers.

Those players were separated from the rest of the group on their return and were expelled from the Barbarians squad for the weekend.

"...Even with a further round of PCR testing for this group it will not be possible to guarantee that these players are not infectious in the period up to and including the match," the RFU said in a statement.

"Therefore to protect the safety of other participants, these players cannot be permitted to remain with the Barbarians squad and play in Sunday's fixture.

"If sufficient new players with an appropriate testing history and who have been meeting the code of conduct standards can be to be brought into the Barbarians camp then the game will go ahead."

The Barbarians said they were extremely disappointed with the conduct of their players involved in the protocol breach.

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

The RFU will provide a further update on the status of the match by 1500 BST on Friday.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis)

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