GATLAND: HOWLEY BAD BET FOR LIONS
WARREN GATLAND has rejected 2017 assistant Rob Howley for a position in his back-room team for next summer’s Lions tour to South Africa because of his betting ban.
Howley has returned to rugby as Canada coach Kingsley Jones’s No.2 after serving a ninemonth suspension for gambling and would be available for the trip.
But Gatland (left), who lost Howley as his Wales assistant when he was sent home from last year’s World Cup, will now look elsewhere.
Lions chief Gatland said: “He is a great mate and I am delighted he got the job with Canada but the last thing you want is people bringing up the
past and taking away from your preparation for the Lions tour.
“That is the last thing I would want, or someone like Rob would want, to have happen from that perspective – so that makes it a little bit difficult. It is great for him that he is back in the game and he gets a chance to re-establish himself with Canada until the next World Cup.
“He is an outstanding coach and he also understands mistakes have been made, but hopefully he does really well.”
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend is an alternative but the fact he turned down Gatland for the New Zealand tour may count against him.