Gatland 'cheating' probed
Auckland - The International Rugby Board will launch a review of Warren
Gatland's admission that he considered cheating during the Rugby World Cup
semi-final against France.
Gatland revealed that he and his coaches had discussed
the possibility of ordering a player to feign injury to force
At the time, Wales were without captain Sam Warburton,
who had been sent off, and injured prop Adam Jones. Gatland and his
staff considered asking one of their remaining props to fake injury,
which would have forced the referee, Alain Rolland, to order uncontested
That would have relieved the pressure that was building on the makeshift Wales pack, while ruining the game as a spectacle.
The IRB, which is reported to be alarmed by Gatland's
comments, could now ask the New Zealander to explain his comments, which
came in a press conference on Tuesday.
"We had already lost Adam Jones and we discussed in the
box: 'Do we fake an injury to one of our props to go to uncontested
scrums?"' Gatland said. "Morally I made the decision that it wasn't the
right thing to do.
"We could have easily done that in the first 25-30
minutes of the game but in the spirit of the game, in the spirit of a
World Cup semi-final, I didn't think that was the fairest or the right
thing to do.
"That's why I honestly believe that Alain Rolland made the wrong decision, I think the right decision was a yellow card.
"In terms of the rules and regulations he was perfectly
entitled to give a red card but every game is different and you take the
circumstances, the situation and intent into account."
Gatland's revelation shocked the assembled media and, it seems, the rugby authorities.
In what appeared to be a damage limitation exercise,
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis attempted to defend
Gatland by saying the coach should be praised for not doing what he
could have done in claiming an injury to a prop.
"Warren Gatland should be applauded in this professional
era where tough things and tough decisions are made, that he didn't go
into that particular zone," Lewis said.
"Warren Gatland is a brutally honest rugby coach. He is a
very serious thinker and he tells it as he sees it. That was something
that was considered and the guys said, 'We are not going there'.
"In professional sport there is always an opportunity to
manipulate the laws and that opportunity could have presented itself.
But we did not go there."
Gatland's remarks overshadowed the announcement of his team for Friday's third-place play-off against Australia at Eden Park.
In the absence of Warburton, prop Gethin Jenkins has been
appointed captain while Toby Faletau, the only Wales player with a 100
percent appearance record in the tournament, will move from No 8 to
openside flank to fill Warburton's boots.
Ryan Jones comes in at No 8 with Paul James packing down
at tight head prop instead of Adam Jones, who has failed to recover from
that calf muscle injury. At lock, Bradley Davies replaces Alun-Wyn
"We are sticking with the majority of the side which has
put together a string of performances for us so far in this tournament,"
"We face Australia back home at the Millennium Stadium in
just over a month's time, and we are single-minded in our assertion
that we want that homecoming to be a celebration of us being one of the
top three teams in the world."
Australia: 15 Kurtley
Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11
Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David
Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill
(captain), 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 James Slipper
16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Radike Samo, 20
Luke Burgess, 21 Anthony Fainga'a, 22 Rob HorneWales:
Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts,
11 Shane Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Toby
Faletau, 6 Danny Lydiate, 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Paul
James, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain).
Lloyd Burns, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Andy Powell, 20
Lloyd Williams, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Scott Williams