Wales attack coach Rob Howley is heading home from the World Cup in Japan following an apparent breach of World Rugby’s regulation related to betting.
On Tuesday, the Welsh Rugby Union confirmed Howley is returning to Wales after coming under investigation for breaking World Rugby regulation 6, specifically betting on rugby union.
That follows recent information being passed to the WRU, with an independent panel being potentially appointed to hear the case.
Stephen Jones, who was set to form part of the Wales coaching staff after the World Cup, will now take over from Howley with immediate effect.
Wales’ first World Cup game is on Monday in Toyota City against Georgia.
Howley had been part of the Welsh management team for 11 years, and his absence will come as a considerable disruption to Wales’ preparations just a few days ahead of the World Cup kick-off.
‘The decision was taken to act immediately in light of recent information passed to the WRU,’ a statement reads.
‘No further details can be provided at this stage as this would prejudice the investigation. If required an independent panel will be appointed to hear the case.
‘Rob has co-operated fully with our initial discussions and we would ask that the media appreciate this is a difficult and personal matter for Rob and that his privacy is respected before an outcome is reached.
‘Warren Gatland has consulted with senior players and Stephen Jones will be arriving in Japan imminently to link up with the squad as attack coach.’
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