Code of Conduct secrets revealed
November 19, 2011
England centre Mike Tindall's Rugby World Cup was blighted by events that mounted to "a very serious breach of the EPS Code of Conduct" © Getty Images
The Rugby Football Union's strict code of conduct reportedly prevented England's Rugby World Cup stars from divulging the full extent of their headline-grabbing off-field antics during last month's tournament.
England's campaign was blighted by series of high-profile controversies with veteran centre Mike Tindall kicked out of the squad and fined £25,000 for his part in events that, according to an RFU disciplinary panel, mounted to "a very serious breach of the Elite Player Squad Code of Conduct".
Until now, the exact details of the Code of Conduct have been a mystery but the Daily Mail claims to have seen a copy of the document that forms part of the contracts signed by those players representing England at Test, Saxons and U20 level.
The newspaper reports that the Code runs to 26 points with various sub-sections and covers the basics of professional sportsmanship, adherence to the laws and respect for officials and for opponents. There are also further warnings about the need to comply with anti-doping regulations, to avoid any links with illicit gambling, to manage injuries in a sensible manner and to follow instructions issued by the team management and RFU hierarchy.
As previously reported by ESPNscrum, the Code also demands players 'set a positive example to others, particularly young players and supporters at all times in all aspects of being a professional rugby player such as physical appearance and demeanour in public' and that they 'avoid potentially compromising situations which may become public and thus bring discredit on themselves, the team and the game.'
The paper also cites 'teamship rules', which supplement the Code of Conduct, where it is stated: 'What happens within the England camp stays within the England camp and remains confidential indefinitely.'
Extracts from Elite Player Squad Code of Conduct:
Schedule 8 - Code of Conduct for players
The highest standards are expected in appearance, conduct and behaviour.
The player will: b) Set a positive example for others... in all aspects of being a professional rugby player such as physical appearance and demeanour.
e) Not wear branding/logos, other than those of RFU sponsors.
y) Not discuss, publish or disclose at any time any information about any aspect of playing for England that would cause offence to any member of the RFU, England squad or management.
z) Avoid compromising situations which may become public and thus bring discredit on themselves, the team and the game:
Players are prohibited from bringing unknown guests back to team hotels (without management approval).
Guidance will be given on post match entertainment by the England Team Manager for each match.
Advice from the medical team regarding consumption of alcohol must be adhered to.
Schedule 9 - Teamship rules
1. No bad language will be tolerated at any time other than within private meetings or training sessions.
7. If you are not selected you are to congratulate the player selected in your position immediately, and face to face.
9. You will not discuss, write or disclose at any time any information about any aspect of playing for England that would cause offence to any team-mate, coaches or management. What happens within the England camp stays within the England camp and remains confidential indefinitely.
10. Support each other in the media. Any contentious issues to be dealt with face-to-face and in private - not via the press.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
The Wallabies showed flair in Dublin, but they still have a way to go if they are to do more than make up the numbers at the World Cup, writes Greg Growden
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton