BREAKING: World Rugby say Wales DID breach rules and issue official warning http://t.co/H90XCM9Gf0 pic.twitter.com/ckYLLewl7o
— WalesOnline Rugby (@WalesRugby) September 24, 2015
Wales have been given an official warning by World Rugby for a breach of Rugby World Cup rules.
Wales included several players outside their 31-man World Cup squad in yesterday's training session. Nicky Smith, Rob Evans, Rhys Patchell, Dan Baker, and Kristian Dacey were all included in their training at their London Irish base.
Tournament relegations are clear that back-up players are not allowed to train with the nominated 31-man squad, or even stay in the team hotel.
@thepaulwilliams In 2011, Waldrom flew to NZ as cover for Easter - wasn't allowed to train,stay w/ENG squad until formal replacement.
— Russ Petty (@rpetty80) September 24, 2015
Wales have commented on the situation, saying that the five players were providing "defensive cover", and all of those players have left the camp.
Wales have also sought special dispensation from World Rugby to reserve the right to bring in a front row replacement up to 24 hours before their 8pm kick off for their game against England. Doubts remain over the fitness of Samson Lee and Paul James. Normal tournament rules say that countries can't include a replacement player in a matchday squad if the replacement was made within 48 hours of kickoff.
Meanwhile, the injury that has ruled Rhys Webb ruled out of the tournament could end his season. Webb underwent surgery for severe foot ligament damage, and could be out for up to eight months.
See Also: Concern Growing For Robbie Henshaw's Availability For Romania Clash
Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE