Rugby World Cup 2011: IRB to assess Warren Gatland cheat claim

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Gatland considered cheating during semi-final

The International Rugby Board is to review Warren Gatland's claim he considered cheating in Wales' defeat by France in the World Cup semi-finals.

Gatland admitted he considered asking a prop to fake an injury, which would have led to uncontested scrums.

That would have helped Wales, as their pack was already a man down following the dismissal of captain Sam Warburton.

The IRB is "privately stunned" by Gatland's comments, BBC Sport understands, and will review them.

It guards against faking by having doctors at pitch-side to assess injuries.

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis told BBC Sport's Dan Roan Gatland should actually be praised for choosing not to claim a fake injury though.

"Warren Gatland should be applauded in this professional era where tough things and tough decisions are made that he didn't go into that particular zone," said Lewis.

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Wales Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis praises Gatland's honesty

"That was something that was considered… and the guys said 'we are not going there'.

"In professional sport there is always an opportunity to manipulate the laws and that opportunity could have presented itself.

"But we did not go there and I think it is a tribute to Warren that he honestly expressed that. Warren Gatland is a brutally honest rugby coach. He is a very serious thinker and he tells it as he sees it.

"He said very honestly today: 'One could have considered the possibility of taking a prop off and going to uncontested scrums'.

"But Warren honestly said: 'Yes, we knew that was an option and it was an option we didn't consider because the semi-final of a World Cup is so important, we have got to play the game.'"

The former England coach Dick Best has told the BBC he is amazed Gatland did not cheat, as it goes on all the time in the sport.

BBC rugby commentator Ian Robertson believes Gatland was unwise to publicly admit his thoughts about cheating.

Robertson said it was "not a clever thing" to say and had spoilt the reputation Wales had built up during the tournament.

Scarlets coach Nigel Davies, a former Wales assistant, said he would not break the rugby rule book but understands the pressure on coaches.

"Would I ever consider cheating? I'd have to say no," said Davies.

"But we have to be very careful here because it is a very competitive game, it is a very competitive arena - you are talking about a World Cup. There is everything to play for."

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