RFL attack corruption in rugby

The Rugby Football League has struck a deal with betting exchange Betfair to help combat match-fixing and illegal betting.

The "memorandum of understanding" will allow the RFL access to information on suspicious betting patterns.

"This represents an important step forward for rugby league," said RFL chief operating officer Nigel Wood.

The sport hit the headlines earlier in the year when Sean Long and Martin Gleeson received lengthy bans after betting on their own team to lose.

Betfair is the largest online betting exchange, where individuals register with the website and can act as layers or punters on markets ranging from horse racing to cricket.

The company has similar agreements in place with other sporting governing bodies, including the Football Association, the Jockey Club, International Cricket Council and the Association of Tennis Professionals.

Wood added: "We believe our partnership will be of great value to the sport.

"Whilst we do not believe inappropriate betting is a major problem in the sport, we feel it is important to take advantage of enhanced monitoring of the betting markets in order to prevent and discourage any persons considering such activity."

Last week, the RFL brought in other measures requiring Super League clubs to name a squad of 20 players at least 72 hours before each match to avoid a repeat of the situation involving Long and Gleeson.

On that occasion, St Helens fielded a vastly understrength side and were thrashed by Bradford.