England mobile phone ban imposed for Rugby World Cup matchdays

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Share on LinkedIn Read more It also emerged that England were briefed by World Rugby’s integrity unit just days after Wales were made aware that Howley was suspected of breaching the governing body’s regulations.It is understood England were told that there were six reported incidents of players or staff being approached under suspicion at the 2015 World Cup and they have been instructed to stay off their phones an hour before kick-off on matchdays because of fears they could be targeted for information. A similar policy is used in cricket in an effort to combat the threat of spot-fixing. For international matches, cricketers are required to hand their phones in before play starts and they are not returned until it ends.World Rugby has put all 20 teams on high alert. On Monday England were given a 20-minute presentation highlighting the plight of Phil Blake, the former Leicester defence coach who was banned for six months in 2014 for breaching the Rugby Football Union’s betting rules.As well as that presentation in Miyazaki this week, before departing for Japan England were briefed on the dangers of gambling. As a result, the investigation into Howley was greeted with surprise in the England camp. “All the stipulations were set out very, very clearly,” the England assistant coach, Neal Hatley, said. “I know it gets done at the clubs and the RPA [Rugby Players’ Association] are actively involved in it so there is real clarity around it. 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.“A document goes around that gets signed to say you’ve heard and understood everything. 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.”England left their pre-tournament camp in Miyazaki on Wednesday, flying 950 miles north to the cooler climes of Sapporo where they begin their campaign against Tonga on Sunday. Eddie Jones will finalise his team selection after Thursday’s training session, with only Jack Nowell and Mako Vunipola unavailable. Vunipola is, however, ahead of schedule having taken part in a live scrummaging in England’s final training session with Hatley refusing to rule out a return against the USA in Kobe next Thursday.Despite stating last week that because of injuries and suspensions “you never have your best team any more”, Jones is expected to name his strongest available side on Friday .Owen Farrell is poised to captain England at a World Cup for the first time and the fly-half has sought advice from past captains, including Will Carling, who is a regular inside the England camp, and the 2003 World Cup winner Martin Johnson.“It’s a massive honour but the most important thing is the team, the team doing well and us preparing as well as we possibly can to perform in this tournament,” Farrell said.“I think we’re on the right track in that. There are no real secrets to [captaincy]. No magic potion to get it, it’s all about doing your job, everybody, and being in the best place to do that and bring the best out of ourselves.”England are expected to comfortably beat Tonga, who lost 92-7 against New Zealand this month, but Jones has warned of the threat posed by the Pacific Islanders despite the disparity in resources. “They come here and play for their country. They are a completely different team at a World Cup than between World Cups because it is the one time they get together for a period of time,” he said.“I also know what they can do because money doesn’t win you a World Cup … it’s togetherness of your squad, the ability to play tough. The difficult situations on the field and the ability to dig deep.“There will be no doubt a game in our pool when we are going to have to dig really deep to win it and it will come down to the cohesion of the players, their ability to stay calm under pressure and execute the plays at certain times.” Rugby World Cup Wales rugby union team newscenter_img England players and staff have been told not to use their mobile phones on World Cup matchdays amid the Wales betting scandal that has rocked the tournament in Japan.With the World Cup set to kick off on Friday Warren Gatland on Wednesday sought to circle the wagons around his Wales squad who are reeling after their attack coach, Rob Howley, flew home in disgrace. England have expressed their shock that Howley is under investigation for breaching betting regulations, stating that the legislation “could not be clearer”. 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