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Report: Spying rumours circulating amongst squads before World Cup has even started

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Wednesday Sep 6, 2023

The world of secretive spies and espionage is often held for the pages of a John Le Carre book, or James Bond film – not the world of elite level sport.

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Well, as rumours circulate, the eyes of the world turn in the direction of those that wish not to be seen.

As reported by The Telegraph, World Rugby has reportedly been asked by a Tier 1 nation for clarification on the sanctions given for spying activity.

This would not be the first time that accusations of the like have been thrown around. Just two years ago the British and Irish Lions had concerns that South Africa were spying during their tour of the country.

Even during the last World Cup in Japan, Eddie Jones suggested that the All Blacks were spying on them ahead of their semi-final clash. This was after England security team spotted someone using a long-lens camera to film an entire training session from the balcony of a nearby apartment.

These activities do happen in elite level sport, with former Hagrid body double and former England lock Martin Bayfield recently admitting that England had spied on Australia ahead of their quarter-final in the 1995 World Cup.

An unnamed source that has echoed the recent concerns has told The Telegraph:
“It is important to know what the sanctions are if a team is caught spying given what is on the line, is it a points deduction or a fine? The stakes could not be higher.”

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