Gatland speaks out

Former Lions forwards coach Warren Gatland has played down the recent incidents involving Gavin Henson and Andy Powell. [more]

Gatland speaks out

Former Lions forwards coach Warren Gatland has played down the recent incidents involving Gavin Henson and Andy Powell.

Toulon slapped 2005 Lion Henson with a one-week ban after an alleged altercation with team-mates in a nightclub, while 2009 Andy Powell is to leave Wasps "by mutual consent" following a bar brawl.

Gatland admitted he was surprised by the furore surrounding the incidents but refused to condone the duo's behavior.
"With a couple of those players a lot of it was really blown out of proportion," Gatland told Scrum V.

"There's been an altercation with Gavin with some team-mates in France, which happens, he was suspended and he's back playing.

"With Andy at Wasps, if you really look into it, I'm not 100% sure that the club handled that as well as they could have.

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"You really need to dig deep and say, 'were the players 100% in the wrong?' and if you are 100% in the wrong then you need to take responsibility.

"But ultimately we've got to try and get them not to put themselves in those situations in the future."

Gatland admitted the Welsh management have been encouraging players to think about their behavior away from the pitch and that all players sign a code of conduct before entering an international camp.

"It's something that's been there for a while and I know a lot has been made of a drinking culture," added Gatland.

"But for us it's just about working with the players and educating these young men that are filled with testosterone… learning from situations, trying not to put themselves in situations.

"Over the last two campaigns, as a squad, after internationals the players haven't gone out at all.

"They haven't gone into Cardiff, they haven't gone for a drink and we're trying to reduce those potential situations.

"We've got… 95% of the squad who are fantastic and never get themselves into situations and there are no issues at all.

"We've got one or two individuals that we're working with closely. I know a couple of players in the squad have identified that there's a couple of problems they may have, or a couple of issues and trying to get some advice and some help and I think that's a responsible approach.

"We actually do have a code of conduct that the players adhere to in camp and sign up to that and agree with that, so it's not something that we've taken lightly.

"We've got to make sure that once you've put that red jersey on, once you've represented Wales, even though you're not in the squad and you're out with some mates, or with the club side, you're still representing Wales."
 

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