Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Gatland unlikely to face IRB probe

Warren Gatland

Wales coach Warren Gatland looks unlikely to face an International Rugby Board investigation following his controversial comments about faking injury, Press Association Sport understands.

Gatland has revealed that he considered asking a front-row forward to feign injury and force uncontested scrums during the World Cup semi-final defeat against France last Saturday. His remarks were made during a press conference three days ahead of Wales' World Cup bronze medal match against Australia.

Welsh Rugby Union group chief executive Roger Lewis said that Gatland should be praised for deciding against the fake injury move. The IRB are aware of Gatland's comments, although they have yet to make any official response. Privately, they are surprised by them, but it seems unlikely the matter will go any further.

Gatland had already seen prop Adam Jones depart with a calf muscle injury against France, and then eight minutes later Wales captain Sam Warburton was sent off.

Despite being reduced to 14 men for more than an hour, Wales scored the game's only try through scrum-half Mike Phillips and only lost by a point, 9-8.

Gatland, still disappointed by referee Alain Rolland's decision to send Warburton off, revealed that in the wake of the red card the coaches talked about faking an injury.

"I know a lot has been spoken about the red card," Gatland said. "In retrospect, I can understand in any game under the letter of the law there are a number of decisions referees can make.

"I just thought on that occasion, given the significance of a World Cup semi-final, to give a yellow card would have been an appropriate decision.

"That is why they are appointed as the top referees in the world, because they make the right decisions."

Gatland continued: "I will give you an example with what happened after that. We'd already lost Adam Jones, and we discussed in the (coaches) box whether we would fake an injury to one of our props and go to uncontested scrums. But morally, I made the decision it wasn't the right thing to do."

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