Under the four-year partnership, Epic will work with the Rugby Players Association (RPA), Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby (PRL) to deliver a gambling awareness education programme.
Epic will use first-hand experience to educate players on the risks of problem gambling and gaming, as well as explaining when and how they can access help and education related to anti-corruption.
In years one and three, the new programme will focus on Premiership clubs, Championship teams, the Red Roses squad and England Sevens’ men’s and women’s squads.
Years two and four will be targeted at regional academies between the ages of 16 and 18, as well as all Women’s Premier 15s clubs and Women’s Premier 15s players aged 16 to 18.
The new arrangement follows on from a programme that was rolled out by the RPA and Epic in 2017, the first gambling awareness education of its kind for professional sportsmen and women in the UK.
“In 2017, Epic helped us to deliver the first gambling awareness education programme for elite athletes in the UK,” RPA player welfare director Richard Bryan said. “To be able to build on that relationship and deliver a multi-year, in-depth programme for more players with Epic, the RFU and PRL is a significant step.
“Research suggests that professional athletes are more likely to be problem gamblers than those in the general population and the effects can be devastating. As such, it is crucial for us to ensure that players understand the risks associated with problem gambling, as well as the support available to them.”
Epic’s director of sports partnerships, John Millington, added: “We are thrilled to continue our work with the RPA. Furthermore, we’re delighted to extend this work in rugby with the RFU and Premiership Rugby; it’s great to see such a joined-up approach across the sport for such a pertinent and growing issue.”