Warren Gatland has defended utilising players outside of his 31 man squad for a training session.
This morning news broke that Wales were being investigated for including a number of players outside of their 31 man squad in a training session. At the time, World Rugby were said to have been ‘seeking to obtain further information regarding the reported events’.
However it has now transpired that the governing body has issued a warning to Wales after ‘an apparent breach’ of the World Cup participation agreement.
In a statement World Rugby said,
The Wales team has been issued with an official warning following an apparent breach of the spirit of the Rugby World Cup 2015 terms of participation regarding team training arrangements, and specifically the inclusion of a number of players from outside the selected 31 player squad for a training session yesterday.
Having reviewed the matter, World Rugby is satisfied that no deliberate breach was intended.
And in addition to the formal warning to the Welsh team, all participating teams have been informed that additional players from the extended national team squad, including potential injury replacements, may not participate in any training sessions.
However Welsh coach Warren Gatland has hit back telling the Wales Online, ‘We haven’t broken any rules. Apparently we have broken the “spirit of the rules”. What that means we don’t know. I don’t know what we have done wrong.’
Referring to the definition of the ‘spirit of the rules’ Gatland argued, ‘You’ve either got rules or no rules so what does spirit of the rules mean? It’s either in the rules or not. If we we’re going to sneak players in we wouldn’t do it at an open training session. Go and ask World Rugby what rule was broken’.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena