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New Zealand warns players about tough betting penalties

By Greg Stutchbury WELLINGTON (Reuters) - The International Rugby Board's new stringent anti-corruption regulations are ways to stamp out illicit behavior in future rather than fight any current systemic corruption in the game, the sport's governing body in New Zealand said on Wednesday. The IRB has ramped up their anti-corruption fight with warnings that people involved in match-fixing could face a lifetime ban while players even placing a bet on a game could be slapped with a one-year suspension.

RugbyU: All Black stars in sleeping pill cocktail binge

New Zealand rugby chiefs on Thursday admitted two prominent All Blacks abused prescription sleeping pills during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but denied the practice was commonplace among professional players. New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew said Cory Jane and Israel Dagg "let themselves down" when they took pills on a night out in Auckland just before the All Blacks' quarter-final against Argentina. He denied the drug abuse, details of which only emerged after media reports on Thursday, had been covered up, saying it was dealt with at the time.

RugbyU: All Black trio Jane, Dagg, Romano re-sign with NZRU

All Blacks Cory Jane, Israel Dagg and Luke Romano have all signed contract extensions keeping them with the national team beyond the 2015 World Cup, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said Friday. Lock Romano has signed on until 2016, while outside backs Dagg and Jane will stay until 2017, when the British and Irish Lions are due to tour New Zealand. The NZRU wants to avoid a player exodus after the All Blacks defend the World Cup in England next year, and chief executive Steve Tew said the signings were a positive step.

RugbyU: All Blacks' face of non-violence on assault charge

All Black Julian Savea, who featured in New Zealand's "It's Not OK" campaign against family violence, admitted Sunday he has been charged with assault following a domestic incident. His arrest has again put the spotlight on the off-field behaviour of prominent All Blacks and forced the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) to review whether there is sufficient support available for players.

RugbyU: All Blacks winger charged with assault

All Black Julian Savea, who featured in New Zealand's "It's Not OK" campaign against family violence, has been charged with assault following a domestic incident, rugby officials confirmed Sunday. His arrest has again put the spotlight on the off-field behaviour of prominent All Blacks and forced the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) to review whether there is sufficient support available for players. "We were very disappointed to learn of this incident and Julian's subsequent charge," NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said.

RugbyU: Hansen to guide All Blacks to 2015 World Cup

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will oversee New Zealand's Rugby World Cup title defence in 2015 after being given a two-year contract extension, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said Wednesday. Hansen was initially appointed for a two-year term in late 2011 after serving as assistant coach under Graham Henry when the All Blacks won the showcase tournament on home soil. NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said Hansen had proved a success in the top job and deserved a shot at steering the team to back-to-back world titles in England.

RugbyU: Guildford admits alcoholism after All Black reprieve

Troubled All Blacks winger Zac Guildford admitted he was an alcoholic Thursday after the New Zealand Rugby Union handed him a career lifeline following a string of off-field incidents. Guildford, who withdrew from rugby in January after reportedly becoming involved in a brawl at a party, was cleared to return to the New Zealand national team and his Super 15 club the Canterbury Crusaders.

RugbyU: Troubled Guildford to return to All Blacks, Super 15

Wayward All Blacks winger Zac Guildford was cleared Thursday to return to the New Zealand national team and Super 15 rugby following a series of alcohol-related incidents, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said. NZRU professional rugby manager Neil Sorensen said strict conditions had been imposed on the 24-year-old, who withdrew from rugby in January after reportedly becoming involved in a brawl at a party. "This decision was not reached lightly or hastily, and follows a very thorough misconduct process and consultation with medical experts," Sorensen said in a statement.
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