22 Apr 2011

England bet on Rugby World Cup success

10:17 am on 22 April 2011

England's rugby bosses are so confident of success at this year's World Cup in New Zealand they have hedged a potential £2.25 million bonus payout to their squad.

The deal focuses on placing a hedging wager like a bet, reported in the media to be in the region of £250,000, whereby the English Rugby Football Union receives reimbursement from the semi-final stages of the tournament.

The bonuses triggered by reaching the latter stages would be then paid to players and backroom staff from the winnings.

All eight seeded teams at the tournament, which starts in September, have held discussions with hedging service Hedgehog Cover but England are the first team to take out a policy.

England are a best-priced 9-1 with British bookmakers to clinch the tournament, which they won in 2003.

The team are 5-6 to make the semi-finals.

South Africa hedged player bonuses in a similar manner four years ago when they lifted the Webb Ellis Trophy.

The rugby union has not broken International Rugby Board rules by using a hedging service rather than an insurance company.