Robert Howley’s university days

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Wales’ rugby union assistant coach Rob Howley said his days at Swansea University helped shape him to be the man he is today.

Howley, fresh back from Rugby World Cup duty in New Zealand, graduated in 1992 with a BSc in management science.

“University life gives you discipline,” he said.

“It is up to you whether you go to a lecture or not, structure is pretty important to you in life.”

The main person that kept Howley grounded in his time here however was the University’s rugby coach Stan Addicott.

“He [Addicott] was fair, honest and I had huge amount of respect for him,” said Howley.

“If we had any problems, you’d always go to Stan.

“He was Stan the man. He would always help you out.”

Howley admits to making the most his time at Swansea University, laughing when talking about the antics he and his fellow rugby team mates got up to on the infamous (but now largely defunct) Mumbles Mile.

“These stories are too dangerous to tell, they are too scary,” he quipped.

“The Mumbles Mile – I never finished that. I got dragged to the last six pubs.”

While there were laughs about his time at university, he does have some regrets.

“I never made my graduation,” said Howley.

“I was absolutely devastated.

“That year, it was the Students Rugby World Cup in Sicily and unfortunately, rugby is pretty high up and we had no option but to play in the competition.

“I have a plaque as my graduation, I was absolutely devastated because it is a proud moment for your parents as well as yourself and it was taken away from me.”

Howley’s extensive playing career seen him play for Bridgend RFC, Cardiff RFC and London Wasps where he scored the winning try in their Heineken Cup final match against Toulouse at Twickenham in the 2003/04 season.

He also had the honour of playing for Wales 59 times, scoring 50 points as well as featuring for the British and Irish Lions, touring both South Africa winning the series 2-1 and Australia losing the series 2-1.

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