England’s Rugby World Cup campaign keeps getting worse off the pitch – but on the pitch they are learning to behave themselves.
Centre Mike Tindal didn’t do his side any favours by being spotted getting cosy with a ‘mystery blonde’ in a club, before Chris Ashton, Dylan Hartley and James Haskell were forced to apologise for lewd comments made to a female hotel worker.
In light of their off-field antics, Ladbrokes now have a special market available so you can bet on how many players get carded in England’s remaining games.
The current favourite is no cards at 11/8 and, looking at their improving disciplinary record in the tournament, it’s easy to see why.
England started with a shockingly undisciplined display against Argentina that saw the forwards seemingly forget the basic rules and give away nine penalties in kickable positions.
Thankfully, for Martin Johnson’s blood pressure, the South Americans missed six of them but England did see No.2 Dan Cole yellow carded.
The second game against Georgia was perhaps even more worrying, with England giving away six kickable penalties and also seeing Dylan Hartley sin-binned for repeated infringements.
Things have been better since then though, with five kickable penalties given away against Romania and just three against Scotland in their crucial final pool game.
With no players carded in either of those two games, backing England at 11/8 to get no further cards looks well worth a punt – especially as they are far from guaranteed to get past France in their quarter final clash.
The troublesome trio of Ashton, Hartley and Haskell can also be backed at 7/1 to be carded in the France game.