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Wales coach Rob Howley has been sent home from their Rugby World Cup camp amid allegations of gambling offences.
It’s known Howley supposedly placed bets on rugby union matches and has been provisionally suspended from all things relating to rugby and will be banned immediately from the championship pending a disciplinary hearing.
Howley leaves the Wales squad only six days before their opening game against Georgia in Japan and will be replaced by former fly-half Stephen Jones, who had been set to take over Howley’s job in 2020.
A statement from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) read: “The WRU can affirm that Rob Howley has returned to Wales to assist with an investigation with regard to a possible breach of World Rugby regulation 6, especially betting on rugby union.
Players, coaches and officials at all levels from the game are prohibited from gambling on any rugby fixtures.
The 48-year-old former Wales captain was a part of Warren Gatland’s coaching team since 2008.
He also played with the British and Irish Lions in 1997 and 2001, and was a part of their coaching staff in their last few tours.
He was due to leave his Wales coaching role after the World Cup, together with Gatland and fellow assistants Shaun Edwards and Robin McBryde.