The England rugby team is implementing a strict team-wide “no phones allowed” rule during matchdays all through the World Cup.
This development came to be after a coach on the Welsh team was sent packing after he was found guilty of gambling misconduct. As a result of this incident, all 20 participating teams are now on high alert.
The dangers of gambling have always been something that has been acknowledged by the English team. Earlier in the week, the squad was shown with a 20-minute presentation on former Leicester defense coach Phil Blake. He was banned from the sport for six months in 2014 for violating betting rules that were imposed by the Rugby Football Union.
The unit spoke about how suspicion rose from the last World Cup tournament in 2015, which was hosted by England. Six incidents were reported over gambling suspicions that involved both players and staff. This has led to England banning phones on matchdays to keep team members from being made targets for information.
With so much gambling awareness data being spotlighted of late, the England team have expressed their shock after hearing that Welsh attack coach Rob Howley is being probed after being sent home from Japan.
Neal Hatley, the assistant coach for England had this to say: “I was a little bit surprised but it’s all very clear, it’s made clear before we arrived and it was made clear two days ago. It’s a real warning for everyone at the tournament. A real live reminder.”
According to the coach, all those involved with the team have been made to sign a document that says that the information has been understood. After the meeting, Hatley relayed:
“We just talked about the regulations. What they are and what is expected and what is not accepted. It couldn’t be any clearer for us as a group.”
This act of documenting a player’s understanding of the possible threats through gambling is also being used in cricket matches to combat any threats of potential spot-fixing.
On international match days, players are mandated to hand in their phones before play begins. They are immediately returned after the match’s conclusion.
England’s first match is against Tonga on Sunday.