The former Wales international is part of Warren Gatland’s coaching team once more

Robert Howley is a well-known figure in men’s rugby and is part of Warren Gatland’s Wales coaching staff.

A former player himself, the 53-year-old is back for a second stint with Wales and is also responsible for the men’s and boy’s pathways.

Read more: Is Test rugby still the pinnacle?

Ahead of the highly anticipated 2024 Six Nations, here are some things you should know about him.

Ten things you should know about Rob Howley

1. Howley made his Wales debut in 1996 and went on to earn 59 caps for Wales as a scrum-half. He also captained the national side on 22 occasions, which included 15 victories.

2. During his international career, Howley scored ten tries before retiring from Wales duty in April 2002.

3. Such was his ability, Howley was also selected for two Lions Tours. A shoulder injury in a warm-up game ended his 1997 series in South Africa early but he played in the first two Tests against Australia in 2001 before a broken rib ruled him out of the decider.

4. At club level, Howley represented Bridgend, Cardiff Blues and Wasps. Most notably, the No 9 helped Wasps to back-to-back Premiership titles in 2003 and 2004 and scored a late try to beat Toulouse in the final of the 2004 Heineken Cup at Twickenham.

5. A serious wrist injury meant Howley was forced to retire from professional rugby in 2004.

6. Howley’s first bit of coaching experience came as an assistant to Bob Dwyer, who led the Barbarians in a game against New Zealand in 2004.

7. His coaching career properly began when he became the backs coach for Cardiff Blues in 2005 before he was appointed as an assistant by Wales head coach Warren Gatland in 2008. During his first stint in the Wales coaching set-up, he was part of four Six Nations victories, including three Grand Slams.

He also took temporary charge of Wales on two occasions when Gatland suffered a double heel injury in the summer of 2012 and then again in 2016 when Gatland was reappointed as the British & Irish Lions head coach for the 2017 series in New Zealand. Howley was named the attack coach for the British & Irish Lions on three occasions: 2009, 2013 and 2017.

8. In September 2019, Howley was found guilty of a raft of betting breaches and was banned from rugby for 18 months, although nine of them were suspended.

9. He was handed a career lifeline when he was hired as the senior assistant coach for Canada in 2020.

10. The Wales Rugby Union initially blocked Gatland from bringing Howley back into the international fold before softening their stance. In his new role as the technical coach, Howley has been tasked with replacing former contact area coach Jonathan Thomas and will work closely with Wales U20s head coach Richard Whiffin.

Speaking after his re-appointment, Howley said: “I have a second opportunity to do a job I’ve dedicated my working life to and I’m grateful to everyone in Welsh rugby for their acceptance and their faith in me, it’s faith I intend to repay to the best of my ability. I have been through an extremely challenging time in my life, speaking out and talking about it has enabled me to move forward.”

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