London - The English Rugby Football Union have paid a premium to an insurance broker to cover player and management win bonuses that could arise if England reach the final stages of this year's World Cup.
The move will guarantee a return from the broker on the RFU's investment, which according to the Guardian newspaper totals around £250 000, should England be successful in the tournament in New Zealand.
The RFU said on Thursday it was being "financially prudent" by "ensuring we minimise our financial risks at all times."
"We are not directly placing money with bookmakers, but rather hedging our risk with an insurance broker," said the RFU, which was keeping details of the arrangement confidential.
The Guardian reported that each player in England's 30-man squad could expect a bonus of "at least £50 000 pounds" if the team wins the World Cup, and that members of the coaching staff would also be on "lucrative incentives."
The newspaper said the RFU would start making a return once England reaches the semifinals.
England won the World Cup in 2003 and reached the final in 2007 before losing to South Africa.
If England tops a qualifying group that includes Scotland and Argentina, the team's likely quarterfinal opponent would be France. Australia would potentially be next for England in the semifinals.
The Guardian didn't disclose which insurance broker the RFU dealt with.