Lee Byrne: Ex-Wales full back would welcome WRU talks over 'bullying' claims

Lee Byrne
Lee Byrne's final appearance for Wales was against Fiji in October 2011

Former Wales full-back Lee Byrne says he welcomes the chance to speak to the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) over claims he was subjected to "bullying treatment" by attack coach Rob Howley.

Byrne, 37, says it is "great" the WRU want to contact him to discuss incidents listed in his autobiography.

The WRU said in a statement they would: "Contact Lee to fully understand his concerns regarding his treatment."

"It is great that they want to do that," Byrne told BBC Sport Wales.

"I will tell them exactly the same as what I have written in the book."

In his autobiography, Byrne claimed his relationship with Howley deteriorated towards the end of the player's international career and that he felt "undermined".

"[I was] subjected, in my view, to bullying treatment," he says in the book.

Byrne was capped 46 times for Wales and last played for his country in 2011.

He was part of the British and Irish Lions squad in 2009 when he played a Test against South Africa.

"To put something that I knew that would probably be big in the book, I would not make them comments lightly, or say anything that didn't happen. I will be telling them exactly what I've said [in the book]," added Byrne.

Rob Howley was one of head coach Warren Gatland's first coaching appointments in January 2008.

The 49-year-old has twice been Wales caretaker coach when Gatland has been Lions coach and led Wales to the Six Nations title in 2013.

Before that Howley played under Gatland at Wasps, and made 59 appearances for Wales, 22 of them as captain.

Byrne, who played for Llanelli, Scarlets, Ospreys, Clermont Auvergne and the Dragons, told BBC Wales Sport that he would not want another player to experience what he went through in the Wales camp.

"Over time it was just basically grinding me down and there was probably other players been subjected to that sort of treatment, but it doesn't make it right the way it was done," Byrne added.

"It wasn't nice and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else."

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