Sean Maitland and Tim Swinson sanctioned for Barbarians Covid breach

Scottish pair were amongst group of 13 players who left team hotel without authorisation

Tim Swinson has been handed a four week, ban with three-weeks suspended, following his involvement in the Barbarians Covid safety breach. Image: Craig Watson
Tim Swinson has been handed a four week, ban with three-weeks suspended, following his involvement in the Barbarians Covid safety breach. Image: Craig Watson

SEAN MAITLAND and Tim Swinson have been handed four-week suspensions by the Rugby Football Union for their role in breaching Covid safety protocols which led to the Barbarians match against England being called off in October.

The judgement issued by a Twickenham disciplinary panel earlier today highlighted that they were “older and more experienced players who went out only on the Wednesday evening and then gave a false account”, before explaining their suspensions had been reduced from eight weeks as a result of “their timely acceptance of culpability and their other mitigation”.

Furthermore, three weeks of that sanction will be suspended subject to there being no further off-field offending by the players in the next year, and them conducting  50 hours of unpaid rugby community work.


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Current Scotland winger Maitland missed Scotland’s final Six Nations match against Wales as a result of the incident. He returned to the squad during the Nations Cup campaign but was unable to regain a starting slot in the side.

Swinson was lured out of retirement during lockdown to join Saracens. He is currently the Chairman of RPS, the association which represents the interests of Scotland’s professional rugby players.

The pair were part of a group of 13 players who left the team hotel in Mayfair without authorisation to visit nearby bars and a restaurant, in breach of the Code of Conduct they had signed up to before joining the group.

Also involved were Alex Lewington, Fergus McFadden, Juan Pablo Socino, Chris Robshaw, Richard Wigglesworth, Jackson Wray, Calum Clark, Tom de Glanville, Joel Kpoku, Manu Vunipola and Simon Kerrod, with the severity of the sanctions imposed varying to reflect extent of culpability and mitigating factors.

To read the judgement, click HERE.


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About David Barnes 2917 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.