Gatland : Wales did not break World Cup rules

Wales coach Warren Gatland will leave his Wales job after the 2019 RWC

Wales coach Warren Gatland has denied that they have broken any official Rugby World Cup rules by bringing in extra players to train with.

Earlier on Thursday Rugby World Cup organisers World Rugby (formerly IRB) issued Wales with an official warning after they allowed additional players from the 31-man squad to take part in training sessions.

Gatland has defended the use of using non-World Cup squad players in training after being warned by World Rugby,

World Rugby said that “no deliberate breach was intended” but Wales contravened “the spirit” of the rules by inviting players who were left out of their World Cup squad to a training session.

“We haven’t broken any rules. Apparently we have broken the ‘spirit of the rules’, ” said Gatland at a press conference.

“What that means we don’t know. I don’t know what we have done wrong.”

Rugby World Cup regulations state that players who have been left out of the final 31-man squads are not permitted take part in practice sessions.

However it has been reported that non-squad players trained against the Wales team that will face England on Saturday at Twickenham.

According to reports Nicky Smith, Rob Evans, Rhys Patchell, Jordan Williams, Dan Baker, Kristian Dacey, Dan Fish and Aled Summerhill were all at a Wales training session at London Irish’s training ground in Sunbury, West London.

Wales could have asked local club players to help the session by making up the number and this would not have breached any rules as they would not be eligible for Wales.

“All participating teams have been informed that additional players from the extended squad, including potential injury replacements, may not be included in any training sessions,” said World Rugby in a statement.

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