Warren Gatland: Wales boss ‘shocked’ by Rob Howley betting allegations

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Warren Gatland claims the Wales staff were”shocked” by the news of Rob Howley’s alleged breach of World Rugby’s gambling and anti-corruption regulations.
On Tuesday, Wales assistant trainer Howley has been suspended from all things relating to rugby, and was sent prior to their championship opener against Georgia.
He will be banned from the tournament pending a hearing. Meanwhile, former fly-half Stephen Jones, that had been put to take over the role in 2020, is flying out to replace him.
“We’re shocked by it,” Gatland informed a media conference in Kitakyushu on Wednesday.
“At the present time, all these are allegations. Rob is ruined by the allegations.”
The Wales captain was part of Gatland’s coaching team since 2008.
Gatland added:”It took a bit of time to sink . It’s now we turn a tricky situation into a positive person.
“I texted Rob to see just how he got home and that he had been OK.”
The 56-year-old coach confessed:”You have to deal with adversity occasionally , the players have really stepped up. We have to draw a line in the sand.
“My focus needs to be on preparing the group for the first World Cup game against Georgia. Preparations have n’t really altered. It will focus us. It’s important we concentrate on the rugby.”
Chief executive Martyn Phillips reported in delivering Howley house that the Welsh Rugby Union needed to act fast.
“We had been contacted on Wednesday last week, then contacted formally with some further information about Friday,” said Phillips.
“We had to be quick and decisive. We were conscious that we acted in ways you’d anticipate a body to behave.
“After receptive training on Monday, we sat down with Rob. He was very co-operative. The process will continue back in Wales.
“There’ll be an investigation. It’s a serious allegation. The investigation hasn’t started. There are other agencies. My focus is about doing it right.
“We’ve made a change, and I think we stick with this change now. Stephen is coming and he is in for the course.”
World Rugby has also stated that it”fully supports” that the Welsh Rugby Union’s”proactive approach” within the Howley allegations.
A statement titled:”World Rugby has been advised by the Welsh Rugby Union of a prospective violation of World Rugby Regulation 6 (especially gambling on rugby) with a member of the union’s RWC 2019 training group.
“World Rugby fully affirms the WRU’s proactive solution for the matter and can confirm that the marriage is keeping us informed of their first discussions.
“It would be wrong to comment further? Within an evolving and open process.”

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