It’s been a busy day for Mr. Gatland amid reports of his Welsh side breaking Rugby World Cup tournament rules.
Wales had players outside their nominated 31-man squad training with them in their open session yesterday. Tournament rules say that players outside the World Cup squad can’t train or stay in the team hotel at all.
Wales were given an official warning after Rhys Patchell, Rob Evans, Nicky Smith, Kristian Dacey, and Dan Baker were involved as defensive cover in yesterday’s session. The official statement from World Rugby read:
World Rugby was last night made aware of reports of an apparent breach by the Wales team of the spirit of the Rugby World Cup 2015 terms of participation regarding team training arrangements.
While World Rugby is satisfied that no deliberate breach was intended, an official warning has been issued to the WRU and participating teams have been informed that additional players from the extended squad, including potential injury replacements, may not be included in any training sessions.
Gatland was responded in typical fashion in his press conference afterwards, wondering what the difference between breaking the rules and breaking the spirit of the rules means:
I’m sure you’ve all read the statement.
We haven’t broken any rules. According to World Rugby we’ve broken the spirit of the rules so I don’t know what that means.
We haven’t done anything underhand and I don’t know what we’ve done wrong.
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.
Warren Gatland isn’t impressed.