Ex-Wales coach Howley banned for breach of betting rules

Business News

Rob Howley has been banned from any involvement in rugby until June 2020 after it emerged he had placed bets on matches involving Wales and two of their players.

Howley, former assistant coach to Warren Gatland, was sent home from the World Cup in September and has been suspended for 18 months by the Welsh Rugby Union with nine months of the sanction suspended.

It was found that, over a four-year period from November 2015 to September 2019, Howley placed 363 bets involving 1,163 rugby matches with three bookmakers through accounts held under his own name.

Of the bets, 24 involved Wales or were related to “connected events”, such as Six Nations games involving rival teams. On two occasions he bet on unnamed Wales players scoring tries.

Howley returned home from Japan shortly before the autumn’s World Cup began after the WRU became aware of possible wrongdoing and the outcome of their investigation was published on Monday.

The ban is backdated to the time of his initial withdrawal from the global showpiece, on September 16, meaning he will be able to take up a post in rugby from June 16.

In the written decision released by the WRU, it is revealed that the former Lions scrum-half accepted the charge “without qualification”.

The alarm was first raised when WRU policy and integrity manager Jeremy Rogers was contacted by an employee of Betway, who claimed that Howley had placed bets on Wales games.