Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been appointed by Canada in the same role after serving a ban for breaching World Rugby’s anti-corruption and betting regulations.
Howley was given an 18-month ban in December, nine months of which are suspended for two years, after it was discovered he made 363 rugby bets over a four-year spell – including on Wales games during his time with the team.
Those misdemeanours ended Howley’s 11-year spell as Warren Gatland’s assistant, with the 49-year-old sent home from last year’s Rugby World Cup before the tournament started.
The suspension – announced in December – was backdated to September 2019, meaning he could return to the sport from June this year.
And Howley has now accepted a job with Rugby Canada that will also see him work as a consultant with the Toronto Arrows for the 2021 Major League Rugby season.
“I’m excited to get to work and help prepare Canada for Rugby World Cup qualification,” Howley said in a statement.
“I am also looking forward to my first season in MLR with the Toronto Arrows.
“There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage the synergy of a professional club loaded with domestic players in an emerging league to help support the national team – it is very similar to my past experience coaching in Wales.”
Howley was tipped to take over as head coach of Italy before the betting breach was revealed and has more recently been linked with the top job at Wasps.
Canada head coach Kingsley Jones said: “Rob is one of the most highly regarded coaches in international rugby and I’m ecstatic that he will be joining us at Rugby Canada.
“He’s someone that I’ve known and respected for a long time, and the opportunity to have Rob join our program is a huge step forward for Canadian rugby. His experience and expertise will benefit not only our young players but our entire coaching staff.”
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