RFU bets on England World Cup success
April 21, 2011
The RFU has gambled on a repeat of England's 2003 World Cup win ©
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has placed bets totalling around £250,000 with a consortium of bookmakers on England reaching at least the semi-finals of this year's World Cup, according to a report in The Guardian.
The outlay covers £2.25 million of bonuses that the governing body may have to pay in the event of Martin Johnson's side progressing to the latter stages of the tournament. If England lift the Webb Ellis Cup - as they did in 2003 - then each member of the 30-man squad could expect to pocket a bonus of at least £50,000.
Should England fail to reach the last four of the tournament, the RFU would lose its stake - but not have to fork out any bonuses to the players.
"I am sure that we, as a professional and responsible sports governing body, are not alone in ensuring we minimise our financial risks at all times, including around tournaments such as the World Cup," an RFU spokesman said.
"This is not unique practice but rather financially prudent so that we can continue to invest in the grassroots of the sport. The details of any such arrangement are confidential."
The World Cup in New Zealand begins on September 9 this year, with England playing in Pool B, which includes Argentina, Scotland, Georgia and Romania.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Hugh Godwin talks to France Sevens coach Frederic Pomarel about the controversial Olympics loophole that could lead to Steffon Armitage playing for Les Bleus
"If England flounder in the next World Cup the knives will be out - six-year contract or not." Tom Hamilton on the new contract for the England coaches
The All Blacks face their toughest task of the Rugby Championship at Ellis Park this weekend, writes Craig Dowd
With the deadline for World Cup ticket applications now over, Tom May outlines his hopes, gripes and wishes for next year's global gathering