Howley departure won't ruin Wales' World Cup
Wales coach Warren Gatland says Rob Howley's shocking departure from the World Cup will not ruin his team's chances of glory in Japan.
Wales caused a huge stir on Tuesday when they announced that backs coach Howley was to be sent home from the camp amid allegations of a betting breach.
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips has confirmed an investigation into the 48-year-old's actions is ongoing and that Howley has left Japan to assist with inquiries.
The WRU learned of the alleged breach of World Rugby's betting code of conduct last Wednesday when the Wales squad were travelling out to the Far East but have waited until six days before the reigning Six Nations champions' first World Cup pool stage game against Georgia to make an announcement.
Gatland admits the news stunned the squad but says the players have responded well to losing a key member of the party and does not believe Howley's exit will have a major bearing on how they perform at the World Cup.
"You have to deal with adversity at times, and it's how you respond and react to that," he said. "We were shocked. The Union are dealing with this, and my focus has to be on the next five days in terms of preparing the squad for the first game against Georgia.
"I must say that the players in the last 24 hours have really stepped up and they have been incredibly responsible and resilient, and sometimes that brings teams closer together.
"At the moment, these are allegations. Obviously, Rob was devastated by the allegations. That's all I can say."
Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.