Covid outbreak sees Barbarians match cancelled 80 minutes before kick-off
Fans now heading to Twickenham will only get to see the women's match.
'Confirmed positive Covid cases' mean this afternoon's match between the Barbarians and Samoa, at Twickenham, has now been cancelled.
The news arrived just 80 minutes before kick-off in the game, which was set to be the final game of Ireland star Rob Kearney's professional career.
Kearney was named on the Baa Baa's bench and featured in a match-day squad that included the likes of Duane Vermeulen, Steven Kitshoff, James O'Connor, Nic White and Malcolm Marx. Cardiff's Olly Robinson and Scotland forward Ryan Wilson were also set to play.
Please note, today’s match between Barbarians men and Samoa has unfortunately been cancelled due to confirmed positive Covid cases.
Barbarians Women vs Springbok Women XV will now take place at 230pm.#Baabaas #rugby #KillikCup
— Barbarian FC (@Barbarian_FC) November 27, 2021
Barbarians Women get prime-time slot
The cancellation of the men's match has seen the BBC decide to air the women's game live instead. Barbarians Women versus Springbok Women XV will now take place at 2:30pm.
That does mean a great level of exposure for a Barbarians side that contains a couple more Ireland players set to bow out of the international game - Ciara Griffin and Lindsay Peat.
Griffin and Peat will both start in the Baa Baa's pack, along with Anna Caplice, while fellow Ireland internationals Sene Naoupu and Jenny Murphy are in midfield together. That XV also includes England half-backs Natasha Hunt and Katy Daley-McLean, while Wales' Beth Dainton is on the bench.
Ahead of the game, Barbarians Women head coach Jo Yapp said, "It’s great to have everyone in camp and we’re looking forward to the week.
"We know the Springboks will be a tough test so our preparation is all about getting to know each other, blending personalities and playing styles and ensuring every player has the chance to express themselves. A Barbarians camp is a unique experience and, while many of the squad know each other as opposition, this week we will really unite as one team."
This is the second time in a year that a Barbarians match has been cancelled due to positive Covid cases. In 2020, a Baa Baa's match against England was scratched after several players from their squad breached Covid-19 protocols. The cancellation was said to have cost the RFU £1 million.