IRB bet against wagering
All in the Game:The IRB, endeavouring to avoid the pitfalls experienced in professional football and horse racing, have announced a blanket ban on “all forms of betting” by anybody involved in the professional game.
The new anti-corruption regulation also prohibits the sharing of inside or confidential information.
“This season we have designed and delivered an innovative online learning module that is mandatory for all of our members to complete,” said Damian Hopley, chief executive of the English Rugby Players Association (RPA).
That presumably means the players will have to deactivate their online betting accounts. That means they would be unaware that England have been cut from 2 to 1 to 6 to 4 to win the championship after beating Scotland.
Paddy Power have Ireland at 2 to 1, previously 7 to 2, with those odds sure to have a dramatically different look after next Sunday’s match, which has England as marginal handicap favourites at plus two.
The British and Irish Lions outhalf slot has already become a straight shootout between Owen Farrell and Jonathan Sexton. After Saturday, Farrell is the championship’s top scorer with 18 points to Sexton’s 15.
All in the Scrum Lions XV (after week 1): Hogg (Scotland); Zebo (Ireland), O’Driscoll (Ireland), Roberts (Wales), North (Wales); Sexton (Ireland), Murray (Ireland); Healy (Ireland), Best (Ireland), Cole (England); Launchbury (England), Gray (Scotland); Wood (England), O’Brien (Ireland), Beattie (Scotland).
Scotland winging it again
To solve their try-scoring problem Scotland have copied the New Zealand approach of adopting natural-born wingers.
The most prolific try-scorer in the PRO12 is Dutchman Tim Visser of Edinburgh, now a naturalised Scotsman, while former Canterbury Crusaders winger Sean Maitland (inset) made a try-scoring debut against England on Saturday.
Granted, Maitland qualifies via Scottish grandparents, who moved to New Zealand in the 1960s, but he is a cousin of Australian outhalf Quade Cooper and the IRB appears to not consider the NZ Maoris as an ‘A’ team.
Maitland had played at every representative level in New Zealand from schoolboy up to Maori before signing up with Scotland.