It would be far simple to say that if you are a player, coach, or some other person connected to a sports team, you cannot punt, but those blokes who spent all that money earning law degrees favour more elaborate language.
“No connected person shall, directly or indirectly, bet and/or attempt to bet on the outcome or any aspect of any connected event and/or receive and/or attempt to receive part or all of the proceeds of any such bet and/or any other benefit in relation to a bet,” reads regulation 6.3.1 of the World Rugby Union rulebook.
Assistant Rob Hawley of Wales has been banished from Japan with allegations of betting infringements swirling about him.
Howley is innocent until proven guilty, in our view and we could argue the case for him to be allowed to remain and do his job for the present, but at the same time, we would ask him, “Mate, if you had to have a punt, could you not have found any other code?”
It is not as though markets are scarce.
Professional and “amateur” sports governing bodies do not tolerate the slightest whiff of an insider betting on the games in which they are involved, meaning, in this case, no betting on the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The WRU statement, in part, said, “The decision was taken to act immediately in light of recent information passed to the WRU.”
We know a chap who would comment, “Shoot first and ask questions later.”
The first game for Wales is in less than a week, when they will play Georgia as $1.01 favourites, a quote that would make Winx blush.
We do not know about Hawley, but if he is considered smart enough to leave Wales to helm Italy, certainly he is smart enough not to back Georgia.
Wales is an $11 chance with Ladbrokes to win the World Cup and if Hawley made that wager, is he any different from a Thoroughbred trainer backing his own horse?
If Wales wins the World Cup without Hawley’s presence, would there be a risk that Italy would take its offer off the table?