Welsh coach breaks both feet

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Welsh rugby coach Warren Gatland has fractured both his feet falling off a ladder at his family beach house at Waihi Beach in New Zealand.

The incident on Easter Monday has left Gatland, 48, in leg casts and delayed his return to Wales to prepare the team for a three-Test series in Australia in June.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) website says he was cleaning windows when he lost his balance and fell three metres onto concrete.

He suffered multiple fractures to the right heel and also a fracture to the left heel, and needs surgery to reconstruct his right heel.

Assistant coach Rob Howley will oversee team management during Gatland's absence.

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis wished Gatland a speedy recovery.

"Knowing Warren as I do, I can reassure the Welsh rugby public that he has diligently put the people and processes in place to ensure he stays closely linked to what is happening in the game back here in Wales," Lewis said.

"I have spoken to Warren on a number of occasions since his fall and have told him he will lead the tour to Australia unless anything unforeseen happens in the prognosis for recovery we are working to."

The former All Black last year guided Wales to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals and this year to a grand slam in the Six Nations Championship for the second time since he became head coach in 2007.