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Wales Rugby
Gatland suffers double leg break
ESPNscrum Staff
April 12, 2012
Wales coach Warren Gatland poses with the Six Nations and Triple Crown silverware, Wales v France, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, March 17, 2012
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Players/Officials: Warren Gatland
Teams: Wales

Wales coach Warren Gatland has broken both his legs after falling from a ladder in New Zealand.

Gatland's return to Wales has been delayed as he recovers from leg injuries sustained in a fall while working at his family beach house on Waihi Beach on Monday morning.

He was cleaning windows when he lost his balance and fell around 10 feet on to concrete, taking the full impact on his heels. He suffered multiple fractures to the right calcaneus and also a fracture to the left calcaneus. Consequently, he is in leg casts and requires surgery to reconstruct his right heel.

The injury he suffered is not expected to have any major impact on the continuing preparations for Wales matches in June, although the WRU have put plans in place for some coaching to be managed internally by Gatland's assistants.

Assistant coach Rob Howley will oversee day-to-day management of the coaching staff in Wales, while Gatland will continue to receive information primarily from Rob Howley, Robin McBryde, Shaun Edwards and Neil Jenkins as they observe and monitor squad players and potential players over the next few weeks.

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis has approved the plan for temporary injury cover and he has indicated that although there is no current requirement for any of the staff to be appointed caretaker head coach, he and Gatland have agreed to recommend to the WRU Board that Howley would fill the role if required.

It could be several months before Gatland fully recovers, although he is expected to be able to return to active coaching duties before his recuperation is complete.

"We all wish Warren a speedy recovery from the injuries he has suffered in this extremely unfortunate accident," Lewis said. "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.

"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."

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