Wallabies face match-fixing claims

Australia is reportedly being investigated for match-fixing. Photo: Getty Images
Australia is reportedly being investigated for match-fixing. Photo: Getty Images
Rugby Australia is set to be approached by 'high-ranking sporting officials' with claims of match fixing during a Wallabies match a number of years ago.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald report on Thursday, officials are questioning the actions of at least three players who 'still have considerable links to Australian Rugby'.

The date of the alleged match is unknown, but it is believed to have been one in which Australia were heavily fancied to win with their opposition unfancied by the bookmaker.

The Wallabies went on to lose the match and there were several incidents of bizarre behaviour with 'dubious forward passes, easy tackles being missed, confounding knock-ons and easy midfield kicks going nowhere near their target'.

There was greater cause for concern for officials, as they had been made aware of links between several players and someone involved in horse racing. They were also understood to be close to a bookmaker and were sighted spending time with both.

It is claimed 'one experienced player, who had financial issues,' was the main influence.

Officials were left concerned in the immediate aftermath of the defeat and an investigation was launched.

Betting companies were asked to check for any unusual activity around that match but replied that it was near impossible to detect because of the methods used to disguise rogue transactions.

One official told the Sydney Morning Herald: 'This issue has to again be looked into. Our suspicions were originally raised due to the very strange mistakes made by usually reliable Australian players during that game.

'Some errors are glaring. It's like watching Tiger Woods miss a two-inch putt, over and over again. Very odd.'

A referee in another Wallabies defeat is also under the microscope after several suspect 'points shaving' bets were placed in India.

RUGBY AUSTRALIA DENY PROBE

Rugby Australia released a statement on Friday, denying any such investigation was ever conducted.

"A headline attached to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald suggested Rugby Australia had investigated a Wallabies Test match "from several years ago" in relation to the possibility of match fixing," the statement said.

"Rugby Australia wishes to confirm it has seen no evidence in regards to inappropriate betting activity or match fixing and has no record of any such investigation occurring in the past.

"Rugby Australia takes any allegation of match fixing very seriously and would always thoroughly investigate should any person or entity ever provide information to the Integrity Unit."

- NZME and AAP

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