Howley was sent home on Monday after being embroiled in allegations of breaking gambling guidelines and is set to be replaced by former flyhalf Stephen Jones.
Losing a coach that has been part of Warren Gatland’s set-up for 11 years less than a week before a World Cup where Wales have their best ever chance of winning looks nothing short of a catastrophe.
However, there are many fans looking at this positively and seeing the funny side in the situation. Jones was set to join the coaching staff after the World Cup as part of Wayne Pivac’s new staff and many fans see him as an improvement.
Former British and Irish Lion Howley did not help Wales earn a reputation of being the most attacking of teams. In the 2019 Six Nations, Wales scored the fewest tries in the championship – tied with Italy – despite winning the Grand Slam. Their strength lies in their defence and the influence that Shaun Edwards has.
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Therefore, the whole situation has been treated by some with a sense of humour on social media where it was suggested it won’t take long for Jones to take over from Howley.
Despite their success, Wales’ blunt attack has received some criticism in the past from other countries, and Wales fans are joining in now that Howley has gone. This has been the reaction:
Jones has four days to learn every one of Howley's attacking plays. What'll he do on the other three and a half?
— Jeff Ace (@JeffAce3) September 17, 2019
Gatland mastermind – Wales to have the most flair in attack thanks to Stephen Jones ?
— Gerwyn Thomas (@GerwynThomas1) September 17, 2019
Welsh backs hearing Stephen Jones will take over for the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/oC6s4THpFT
— Rhys Hafod (@Rhys_Hafod) September 17, 2019
If Howley takes his folder of super-duper complex, amazingly intricate cutting-edge backs moves with him though….he’ll still have loads of room for duty free. How much does one sheet of A4 weigh anyway?
— David Burke (@DavidMBurke) September 17, 2019
So…. Stephen Jones been taken out replace Howley…. does this actually mean we’re going to ATTACK now?? ?
— Steve Speirs (@SteveSpeirs4) September 17, 2019
Seeing as Ron Howley's attacking plans have yet to see the light of day, Jones doesn't have a lot to work with, other than "kick it and hope Biggar catches it", and the "go from side to side & back again" tactics.
— DeanKB (@Dean21564486) September 17, 2019
Stephen Jones for Rob Howley – best substitution of the 2019 Rugby World Cup! ?????????
— Leighton (@Leight76) September 17, 2019
I can’t wait until Stephen Jones takes over the Wales attack.
— Phil Hughes (@filhughes) February 9, 2019
Stephen Jones has been handed Rob Howley’s book of attacking moves. pic.twitter.com/mQXBih0HYo
— Dave (@MrDaveLewis) September 17, 2019
I’m more shocked he’s actually called attack coach,threw me a bit there
— Chris Jenkins (@chrisjenks2108) September 17, 2019
Question for Gats: Over the last few years Wales is attack has been criticised, have you recently come to your senses and now blackmailed Rob Howley? If so Wales thanks you ?
— Carwyn J. Thomas (@CarwynJThomas) September 17, 2019
An overwhelming number of fans on Twitter are taking positives out of this move, highlighting the success that Jones has had with the Scarlets backline, many of whom are playing for Wales.
Then again, there are those that are suggesting that it is ridiculous to think that Jones will be able to revolutionise an attack in a matter of days that has been led by one person for 11 years.
Jones’ job will simply be to try and implement and continue what Howley has created. But in a situation as disastrous as this, sometimes the only thing to do is laugh.
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