Rob Howley

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Rob Howley
Robert Howley Wales Grand Slam Celebration, Senedd 19 March 2012.jpg
Date of birth (1970-10-13) 13 October 1970 (age 45)
Place of birth Bridgend, Wales
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 83 kg (13 st 1 lb)
School Brynteg Comprehensive School
University University College of Swansea
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Scrum-half
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
British and Irish Lions
Coaching career
Years Club / team
2009, 2013
Barbarians Assistant
Cardiff Blues Assistant
Wales Assistant
British and Irish Lions Assistant

Robert Howley (born 13 October 1970 in Bridgend) is a former Welsh rugby union player. He gained 59 caps for Wales, 22 of them as captain.

Howley made his Wales debut in February 1996. He was selected for the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa, prompting speculation of a match-up with the Springboks' Joost van der Westhuizen, but Howley was injured.

Howley did make the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia and played in the first two tests before succumbing to injury.

Howley moved from Cardiff to Wasps and retired from international rugby. A wrist injury saw Howley announce his retirement from the game in 2004.

Following his retirement from playing Rob Howley coached Cardiff RFC/Blues, and is now the attack coach for the Wales national team.[1]

He was attack coach during 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa under head coach Ian McGeechan, and retained the role under Warren Gatland in the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

Wales Caretaker Coach role[edit]

During April 2012, he temporarily covered the day-to-day running of the coaching team, after Warren Gatland suffered two broken heels while on holiday in New Zealand.[2] It was announced on 19 April 2012 that Warren Gatland would be unable to lead Wales on the 2012 tour to Australia because of his injury, and that Rob Howley would take charge as caretaker coach during the tour.[3] It was later announced that Rob Howley would continue his caretaker role in the 2012 Autumn Internationals as Gatland was selected as head coach of the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia.[4] Howerver, Howley would only coach Wales in the opening 2 matches; Argentina and Samoa, and that Gatland would return to coach the side against New Zealand and Australia in week 3 and 4. Due to Gatland's role as head coach of the Lions, he was unable to coach Wales in the 2013 Six Nations, therefore Howely would continue his role through the 2013 tournament.[5]

While coaching the Welsh side from June 2012 to March 2013, Rob Howley faced much criticism. His opening match as caretaker coach against the Barbarians was won by Wales 30-21. After that win Wales suffered 8 consecutive defeats, 6 of which were under the management of Howley. This included a 3-0 series defeat against Australia during their 2012 tour to Australia, a series white-wash in the 2012 Autumn Internationals and a loss in the opening round of the 2013 Six Nations against Ireland. The last 5 defeats was a record run of 5 home defeats. The streak was broken in round 2 of the Six Nations after beating France 6-16. Rob Howley led Wales to a Championship win in the 2013 Six Nations after beating England by a record winning margin, 30-3 at the Millennium Stadium. This was Wales fourth Championship win since it became the Six Nations in 2000, and the first time Wales has won back to back championship wins since their 1978/1979 championship wins.


Date Venue Home Score Away Victor Notes
2 June 2012 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Wales  30–21 Barbarians  Wales
9 June 2012 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Australia  27–19  Wales  Australia 2012 Welsh tour to Australia
16 June 2012 Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Australia  25–23  Wales  Australia
23 June 2012 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  20–19  Wales  Australia
10 November 2012 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Wales  12–26  Argentina  Argentina 2012 Autumn internationals
16 November 2012 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Wales  19–26  Samoa  Samoa
2 February 2013 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Wales  22–30  Ireland  Ireland 2013 Six Nations
9 February 2013 Stade de France, Saint-Denis France  6–16  Wales  Wales
23 February 2013 Stadio Olimpico, Rome Italy  9–26  Wales  Wales
9 March 2013 Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Scotland  18–28  Wales  Wales
16 March 2013 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Wales  30–3  England  Wales


  1. ^ "Howley Eager for Wales Challenge". BBC Sport. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2008. 
  2. ^ "BBC Sport - Wales coach Warren Gatland suffers double heel injury". 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  3. ^ "Warren Gatland devastated to be ruled out of Wales' Australia tour". WalesOnline. 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  4. ^ Ian Robertson (2012-09-04). "Warren Gatland named coach for Australia series". Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  5. ^ "BBC Sport - Lions 2012: Rob Howley appointed Wales caretaker coach". 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 

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