“It Is A Pretty Serious Allegation” – Welsh Rugby Union Shed More Light On Rob Howley Betting Scandal
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Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) chief executive Martyn Phillips said they needed to act quickly in making the decision to send Rob Howley home from the World Cup in Japan.
Howley left Wales’ World Cup camp in Japan on Monday after being sent home for an alleged breach of World Rugby’s regulation six which covers anti-corruption and betting. Head coach Warren Gatland has admitted Wales were “shocked” by the incredible allegations.
“We were shocked by it,” Gatland told a press conference in Kitayushu on Wednesday morning.
“At the moment these are allegations. Rob is devastated by the allegations. It took a bit of time to sink in. It is now how we turn a difficult situation into a positive one.
“I texted Rob to see how he got home and that he was okay.”
The WRU have revealed it is a “pretty serious allegation” they are dealing with and that Howley was “very co-operative.”
“We were contacted on Wednesday last week, and then contacted formally with some further information on Friday,” WRU Chief executive Martyn Phillips said
“We needed to be quick and decisive. We were very conscious that we acted in a way you would expect a governing body to act.
“After open training on Monday, we sat down with Rob. He was very co-operative. The formal process will carry on back in Wales.
“There will be an investigation. It is a pretty serious allegation. The investigation hasn’t started. There are other agencies to manage. My focus is on doing it right.
“We have made a change, and I think we stick with that change now. Stephen is coming and he is in for the duration.”
Earlier World Rugby said it “fully supports” the Welsh Rugby Union’s “proactive approach” over the Howley allegations.
“World Rugby has been informed by the Welsh Rugby Union of a potential breach of World Rugby Regulation 6 (specifically betting on rugby) by a member of the union’s RWC 2019 coaching team.” a statement read
“World Rugby fully supports the WRU’s proactive approach to this matter and can confirm that the union is keeping us informed of their initial discussions.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further on an open and evolving process,”