Welsh Rugby CEO Explains Decision To Send Rob Howley Home From World Cup

Welsh Rugby CEO Explains Decision To Send Rob Howley Home From World Cup

Martyn Phillips has said that the Welsh Rugby Union was first informed last week regarding a possible breach of betting regulations by Rob Howley.

It yesterday emerged that the Wales attack coach had been sent home from the Rugby World Cup in Japan due to allegations that he placed bets on rugby union games.

WRU CEO Phillips said that the union was contacted by the integrity team of a betting company.

"We were contacted on Wednesday of last week informally to suggest there was a potential breach of regulation 6, which you’ll all now be familiar with," Phillips is quoted as saying at a press conference by WalesOnline.

"We were then contacted formally with some further information on Friday evening. We took Saturday to digest that information.

"Probably three or four lenses were looked through at that point. The first lense was for the squad, players and management. It’s a pretty serious allegation and we needed to be confident in our actions if we were indeed going to do anything. That was an important lense for us.

"Clearly, we’re on the eve of the World Cup, the biggest tournament we play in, so that was a factor.


"But equally at that point, we were very conscious that we needed to act quickly and be decisive. That’s exactly what we’ve done."

Howley has been replaced in the Welsh backroom team by Stephen Jones, the former Wales out-half who was due to take up the attack coach role after the World Cup.

Phillips confirmed that there will be an investigation into the allegations against Howley.

"Lastly, it was a serious allegation to Rob, he’s our employee and we have a duty of care to him and his welfare is important to us," continued Phillips.

"I can assure you that that has been one of the major factors that we’ve considered.

"We reached the decision on Saturday that we were best placed to come out to Japan.


"At that point we informed World Rugby that there had been a potential breach and we would be seeking face to face time with Rob to get his perspective on the situation.

"We caught the flight on Sunday and arrived on Monday lunchtime.

"At that point we sat down with Warren. We appraised him at a fairly high level of the allegation. There was an open training session and that carried on as normal.

"Then when that concluded, myself and an executive colleague sat down with Rob. He was very co-operative in that conversation.

"Then we had a second meeting later that day and determined that the right course of action would be that he should return to Wales.

"That triggered the formal process we’re now in and that formal process will carry on back in Wales."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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