Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been handed an 18-month ban by the Welsh Rugby Union for breaching betting rules during the World Cup.
Howley, who served as Wales’ attack coach this year, was sent home from Japan days before the team’s opening World Cup match after the WRU were alerted to a possible breach of betting rules by a bookmaker.
Following a three-month investigation, a WRU disciplinary panel deemed Howley’s actions punishable by a lengthy ban. The ban, has however, been backdated and partly suspended, meaning that Howley will be available to coach again from 16 June 2020.
It was found that Howley had placed over 363 bets on 1163 matches in a 45-month period dating to November 2015, some on the Wales team that he was coaching, including betting on who the first try scorer would be.
The 45-year-old used his work phone and email address to place the bets and lost £4000. The players were unaware of what he was doing.
He will be seeing a psychologist to help him stop gambling.
World Rugby regulations state that players, agents, match officials, coaches and backroom staff, as well as owners and directors at the highest level, are banned from betting on any rugby match.
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