England's Joseph among trio banned for virus breaches

London (AFP) –


England's Jonathan Joseph has received a two-week ban for a breach of Covid-19 regulations, the Rugby Football Union announced on Thursday.

The 29-year-old mixed households with Bath team-mate Elliott Stooke and Wasps hooker Gabriel Oghre as the trio all contravened British government guidelines.

All three players faced a charge of breaching the governing RFU's rule 5.12, which relates to conduct prejudicial to the interests of the union and/or game at an online independent disciplinary panel on Wednesday.

Two players travelled to visit the third and after all three accepted the charges, Joseph -- omitted from England' 28-man Six Nations squad -- was suspended for a fortnight, with Oghre and lock Stooke receiving three-week bans.

A Wasps statement said: "The club were extremely disappointed to learn of this incident, particularly as we regularly remind all players and staff about the latest protocols and their responsibility to set an example by adhering to them.

"A club investigation has already taken place and this matter has been dealt with internally."

Each ban has been backdated, with Joseph set to return after missing Friday's Premiership fixture at Sale Sharks.

Meanwhile, a Bath statement said a club disciplinary committee chaired by chief executive Tarquin McDonald had determined both Joseph and Stooke would be suspended for one game with a maximum fine permitted.