Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been banned from coaching for 18 months, with nine months suspended, for betting rules breaches.


Howley was sent home from the Rugby World Cup six days before Wales’ opening pool win against Pool D opponents Georgia, and replaced by Stephen Jones, when news of his involvement in betting rules breaches became public.

A report released by the Wales Rugby Union states that the betting breaches relate to 363 bets placed on a total of 1,163 rugby union matches in total, using accounts held with Betway, William Hill and Ladbrokes.

The report also states that “a trigger for Mr Howley’s betting activity was a family tragedy involving the death of his sister”, and that two Wales players that Howley placed specific bets on were interviewed as part of their investigation.

The WRU released a statement on Monday morning confirming his suspension.

“Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been suspended from involvement in the game for a period of 18 months, with nine months suspended, after breaching World Rugby Anti-corruption and Betting Regulations – known as regulation 6,” the statement read.

Video Spacer

“After a thorough and detailed investigation by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), Howley’s case was heard in Cardiff by an independent panel, chaired by Sir Wyn Williams. The panel has submitted its decision, which has been shared with World Rugby.

“Howley was withdrawn from his duties with Wales ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup as soon as the WRU became aware of a potential breach of regulations and an investigation was immediately launched.


“The suspension is backdated to the time of his initial withdrawal from the World Cup, on the 16th September 2019, meaning Howley would be free to return to the game on or after 16th June 2020.

“The decision, which has been published in full, comprehensively covers the charges and mitigating features considered by the panel.

“As such, no further comment will be made by the WRU or Rob Howley on this subject at this time and media are requested to please respect his privacy and that of his family with this in mind.”


Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now