As part of a precautionary measure to ensure the game remains free of corruption, World Rugby has entered a strategic partnership with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, formalising a close working relationship that dates back to 2012.
With rugby having established itself as a major international sport within the Olympic family, the need to maintain vigilance in the area of integrity is stronger than ever. The Gambling Commission regulates all licensed operators in Great Britain and manages information pertaining to betting on Rugby World Cup 2015 and other World Rugby tournaments.
World Rugby Head of Legal and Legislative Affairs Susan Ahern said: "This is an important step forward for rugby. The Gambling Commission collects information and develops intelligence about potentially corrupt betting across a range of sports in Great Britain and has access to the sort of information that will be very beneficial for us as we seek to protect Rugby World Cup and other tournaments against corruption.
"While we do not believe rugby has an issue with match-fixing or other forms of betting-related corruption, we are not complacent and we have a duty to our game and the wider global sporting community to remain alert to any possible threat. We will do everything possible to keep the level of risk to a minimum."
The British Gambling Commission also has relationships with other similar regulators around the world who can access information pertaining to betting on the tournament in their jurisdictions. Betting integrity exercises have been conducted with the Gambling Commission on previous World Rugby events held in the UK. While no irregularities were observed on those occasions, World Rugby will continue to implement international best practice to ensure that remains the case.
This partnership complements World Rugby's existing robust integrity measures featuring the education of all athletes and officials on their responsibilities in this area as well as independent monitoring of all matches.