Wales boss Warren Gatland says a number of players and staff have contacted Rob Howley to show their support after the assistant coach was sent home from the World Cup.

Wales go into their World Cup opener against Georgia on Monday in the wake of Howley leaving Japan for an alleged breach of World Rugby’s betting regulations.

Howley, 48, has returned to Wales to assist with an investigation relating to a potential breach of World Rugby regulation six – specifically betting on rugby union.

Gatland said: “Alun Wyn (Jones, the Wales captain) made a good comment to everyone – these things happen, you lose players, the wheel keeps turning and you have to move on.

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Wales head coach Warren Gatland says his players remain resilient after the assistant coach Rob Howley was sent home for allegedly breaching World Rugby's betting and anti-corruption regulations.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says his players remain resilient after the assistant coach Rob Howley was sent home for allegedly breaching World Rugby’s betting and anti-corruption regulations.

“It’s been tough, but you have to draw a line in the sand and concentrate on what your job and your role is.

“A number of players and staff have reached out to Rob. The biggest thing we can do is offer him as much support as we can.

“We can’t change what has happened, but it is important we do provide support.

“There are a lot of good people out there who have reached out to offer him support. That is pleasing.

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“We can’t change what has happened. We have to really focus on the next couple of days and hopefully things go well on Monday (against Georgia), and then we build up to Australia.”

Howley’s coaching replacement – former Wales fly-half Stephen Jones – took part in his first training session on Saturday, and Gatland is delighted with how ready his players are to launch what will be a final World Cup for him as head coach.

“There was a little bit of edge and niggle at training (on Saturday). To me, that’s always a good sign. The players know the game is coming close,” Gatland added.

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Warren Gatland insists new attacking coach Stephen Jones is "fitting in well"

Warren Gatland insists new attacking coach Stephen Jones is “fitting in well”

“I said to the players after training, ‘we’ve had our warm-up games – we’re in competition phase now, and that’s when we thrive’.

“We are Grand Slam champions, had 14 games in a row unbeaten and that was because of the way we prepared, mentally how tough we were, our game management, and I thought today there was that edge.