For the 2024 Six Nations, former Wales coach and captain Robert Howley is returning to the Wales coaching staff following a four-year absence. As a result of betting violations that sent him home just before the 2019 World Cup, he has returned to Welsh rugby after being suspended from the game. His return is seen as a positive development despite the challenges of the current economic environment.
Rather than just returning, Howley is being elevated to a new position with special responsibility for the men’s and boys’ pathways. He will work closely with Richard Whiffin, the new Wales Under-20s head coach, and this responsibility extends to the Under 18s teams as well, indicating a significant return to the Welsh coaching staff of expertise and experience.
In welcoming Howley back to his new role, head coach Warren Gatland expressed his delight and view his experience as a valuable addition. Additionally, the Welsh Rugby Union has supported Howley’s return, celebrating the restoration of valuable intellectual property and knowledge for the national team and development of pathways.
In his return to rugby, Howley faced many challenges. Howley sought professional assistance for his gambling problems after his ban. In expressing gratitude for the second chance, Howley has demonstrated determination and resilience, making his rehabilitation story inspiring.
With Howley’s return, the pathway development and international rugby preparations will be significantly improved. As a fellow assistant to Mike Forshaw, Jonathan Humphreys, Neil Jenkins, and Alex King, Howley will contribute to the development and planning of the national squad’s strategy. In addition to signaling his personal rehabilitation, his reintegration also enhances the prospects of the Welsh national team.