Article

Howley in charge as Wales bid for crown

24 January 2013 08:59

Interim Wales coach Rob Howley is looking forward to having sole ownership of his side at the upcoming Six Nations tournament.

Howley will attempt to lead Wales to back-to-back Six Nations titles when the 2013 edition of the rugby showpiece kicks off next month, while regular boss Warren Gatland concentrates on his new role as British and Lions coach.

Previously Howley had been in charge of Wales as Gatland had a say in team selection and called the shots in the background, but the former scrum-half said it would be a different story this time round.

"For clarity moving forward in the Six Nations, it is with me," Howley said.

"It feels very different for me this time.

"Now, with Warren being in charge of the Lions and the need for transparency, it is only right that Warren steps away. He will not be involved."

Howley filled in for Gatland during Wales' autumn trip to Australia last year while the Lions coach was nursing a double heel fracture and led his side to two honourable defeats on enemy territory in the process.

But Howley said he and Gatland had spoken in depth since and that there would only be one man in charge when Wales open their campaign at home against Ireland on February 2.

"There is clarity now," he said.

"I spoke to Warren post-autumn about compromising the two weeks I was in charge and the two weeks Warren was in charge.

"I think clarity is important from the players’ perspective.

"He will be watching other teams training so he is not going to be involved with us in terms of training or selection so the clarity from the coaching team to the players is very evident.

"It is a challenge I am looking forward to."

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