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Wales assistant coach Rob Howley sent home from World Cup in Japan for alleged breach of betting rules

Wales assisant coach Rob Howley has been sent home from the Rugby World Cup in Japan six days until their opening match against Georgia begins.

The former Wales captain, who has been part of Warren Gatland’s coaching team since 2008, has left the squad’s Kitakyushu base due to an alleged breach of betting rules.

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Rob Howley has been sent home from the World Cup

The developments will send shock-waves reverberating throughout the rugby world.

The 48-year-old enjoyed a glittering playing career, winning 59 caps for Wales and captaining his country on 22 occasions, while also helping Wasps to be crowned European champions in 2004.

He also played for the British and Irish Lions in 1997 and 2001, and was part of the Lions coaching staff on their last three tours.
He had been due to leave his Wales coaching role after the World Cup, along with Gatland and fellow assistants Shaun Edwards and Robin McBryde.

Howley was recently linked with succeeding Conor O’Shea as Italy head coach following the tournament.


In a statement, the WRU said: “The WRU can confirm that Rob Howley has returned to Wales to assist with an investigation in relation to a potential breach of World Rugby regulation 6, specifically betting on rugby union.

“The decision was taken to act immediately in light of recent information passed to the WRU.

“No further details can be provided at this stage as this would prejudice the investigation. If required, an independent panel will be appointed to hear the case.

“Rob has co-operated fully with our initial discussions and we would ask that the media appreciate this is a difficult and personal matter for Rob and that his privacy is respected before an outcome is reached.

“Warren Gatland has consulted with senior players, and Stephen Jones will be arriving in Japan imminently to link up with the squad as attack coach.”


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