Not good news for Rob Howley. The former assistant coach to the Welsh rugby union team faces nine months of suspension from the sport for anti-corruption and betting regulations.
An independent disciplinary panel appointed by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) set the sanctions after the coach admitted to multiple violations of World Rugby Anti-corruption and Betting Regulations.
Howley’s breaches date between November 2015 and September 2019 with 363 bets placed on rugby union games. He did it through Betway, William Hill and Ladbrokes and even dared to wager on the Welsh team.
As a result, his coaching duties were suspended for the Welsh team’s 2019 Rugby World Cup. He is therefore departing prematurely after eleven long years.
World Rugby regulation 6.3.1 states that no connected person shall, directly or indirectly, bet and/or attempt to bet on the outcome or any aspect of any connected event and/or receive and/or attempt to receive part or all of the proceeds of any such bet and/or any other benefit in relation to a bet.
The disciplinary panel gave Howley a break after receiving character references from high-profile figures like former Wales head coach Warren Gatland, Welsh international Jonathan Davies, and Scottish national team player and coach Sir Ian McGeechan.
It could have banned Howley for five years but is content with the proportionate punishment. He will return to the game on or after June 16, 2020.
“A further period of immediate suspension would be unduly punitive in his submission and it would likely impact adversely on Mr. Howley’s well-being.”