SAMOA players sang their national anthem in a near-empty Twickenham shortly after their match against the Barbarians was cancelled.
But that didn’t stop the Manu Samoa from belting out their national anthem and performing their Siva Tau war dance, which is similar to New Zealand’s haka, in what proved to be a very emotional scene at the ground.
Scotland back-row Ryan Wilson was set to captain a team, which also consisted of South African stars Duane Vermeulen, Malcolm Marx and Steven Kitshoff as well as Australians James O’Connor and Nic White.
Ireland great Rob Kearney was named among the replacements and was set to retire after the match.
The vacant kick-off slot is expected to be taken by Barbarians Women and a Springbok Women’s XV.
A statement from the RFU read: “Due to six confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Barbarians men’s team (four players and two members of staff), the Professional Game Testing Oversight Group has advised that the fixture scheduled to be played against Samoa at 2.30pm today is unable to proceed.
“We appreciate that this is an extremely disappointing situation for the many fans due to attend, but the safety of all members of both teams is our priority.
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“Following consultation with the Barbarians Committee and South Africa, the fixture between Barbarians Women and Springbok Women’s XV will now move to the 2.30pm KO and all tickets purchased are valid for this match.
“The match will be broadcast live on BBC 1 with coverage starting at 2pm.
“A full automatic refund will be made to all ticket holders, however fans are encouraged to attend the Barbarians Women and Springbok Women’s XV.”