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Gatland unlikely to face probe over claims

WALES coach Warren Gatland looks unlikely to face an IRB investigation after his controversial comments about faking injury.

Gatland revealed that he considered asking a front-row forward to feign injury and force uncontested scrums during the 9-8 World Cup semi-final defeat against France last Saturday.

His remarks were made yesterday, three days ahead of Wales' World Cup bronze medal match against Australia.

Welsh Rugby Union CEO Roger Lewis said that Gatland should be praised for deciding against the fake injury move.

The IRB is aware of Gatland's comments, although it has yet to make any official response. Privately, the IRB is surprised by them, but it seems unlikely the matter will go any further.

Gatland had already seen prop Adam Jones depart with a calf muscle injury against France, and then eight minutes later Wales captain Sam Warburton was sent off.

Despite being reduced to 14 men for more than an hour, Wales scored the game's only try through scrum-half Mike Phillips and only lost by a point.

Gatland, still disappointed by referee Alain Rolland's decision to send off Warburton, revealed that in the wake of the red card the coaches talked about faking an injury.

“I know a lot has been spoken about the red card,” Gatland said. “Given the significance of a World Cup semi-final, to give a yellow card would have been an appropriate decision.

“That is why they are appointed as the top referees in the world, because they make the right decisions.

“I will give you an example with what happened after that. We'd already lost Adam Jones, and we discussed in the (coaches’) box whether we would fake an injury to one of our props and go to uncontested scrums.

“Morally, I made the decision it wasn't the right thing to do. We could easily have done that in the first 25-30 minutes, but in the spirit of the game, in the spirit of a World Cup semi-final, I didn't think that was the fairest or the right thing.”

Lewis said: “Warren should be applauded in this professional era, where tough things and tough decisions are made, that he didn't go into that (faking injury) zone.

“It is a tribute to Warren that he honestly expressed that.”