Warren Gatland says??the Wales team were”shocked” by the news of Rob Howley’s alleged breach of World Rugby’s betting and anti-corruption regulations.
On Tuesday, Wales assistant coach Howley has been suspended, and was sent home by the Rugby World Cup six days prior to their tournament opener against Georgia.
He’ll be banned from the championship pending a disciplinary hearing. Meanwhile Stephen Jones, that was put to take over the part in 2020, is flying out to replace him.
“We were amazed by it,” Gatland informed a press conference at Kitakyushu on Wednesday.
“At the moment, all these are allegations. Rob is devastated by the allegations.”
The former Wales captain was part of Gatland’s coaching group since 2008.
Gatland added:”It required a bit of time to sink . It’s now how we turn a difficult situation into an optimistic person.
“I texted Rob to see just how he got home and that he was OK.”
The 56-year-old mentor admitted:”You have to manage adversity sometimes the players have really stepped down. We’ve got to draw a line in the sand.
“My attention has to be on preparing the group for the very first World Cup game against Georgia. Preparations have n’t really altered. It will focus . It is important we focus on the rugby.”
Chief executive Martyn Phillips reported in delivering Howley house, that the Welsh Rugby Union needed to act.
“We were contacted on Wednesday last week, and then contacted formally with some additional info about Friday,” explained Phillips.
“We had to be quick and decisive. We were very aware that we behaved in a way you’d expect a body to behave.
“After open coaching Monday, we sat down with Rob. He was. The formal process will carry on back in Wales.
“There will be an evaluation. It is a fairly serious allegation. The analysis hasn’t started. There are other agencies to manage. My focus is on doing this right.
“We have made a change, and I believe we stick with that change now. Stephen is coming and he’s in for the course.”
World Rugby also has said 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 with a potential violation of World Rugby Legislation 6 (especially betting on football ) with a part of the union’s RWC 2019 coaching team.
“World Rugby fully affirms the WRU’s proactive solution for this issue and can affirm that the marriage is keeping us advised of their initial talks.
“It would be improper to comment further? Within an open and evolving process.”
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