Rob Howley: Interim coach should focus on Wales, says Jonathan Davies

Rob Howley and Warren Gatland
Former Wales scrum-half Rob Howley has been part of Warren Gatland's coaching team since 2008

Rob Howley should concentrate on Wales rather than accept a coaching role with the British and Irish Lions says Jonathan Davies.

Howley is likely to be attack coach for the 2017 tour of New Zealand after Gregor Townsend rejected the chance to join Warren Gatland's coaching staff.

Ex-Wales captain Davies says Howley should focus on his role as interim coach in Gatland's absence.

"If I was Howley I wouldn't want to go," Davies told Scrum V.

"He should look after the Welsh squad.

"The Welsh Rugby Union should say 'look, you shouldn't go' because they've lost one coach and now they're going to lose another one.

"That's very detrimental to the Welsh side going on a tough tour.

"Also, whoever does do it and does a good job, it's detrimental to Howley as well."

Wales will face Samoa and Tonga on their Pacific Island tour next summer during the early part of the Lions tour of New Zealand.

Former Wales scrum-half Howley was part of Gatland's team on the successful tour to Australia in 2013 when the Lions secured a series win over the Wallabies.

Howley is in interim charge of Wales while New Zealander Gatland focuses on his role as British & Irish Lions head coach.

Wales, under Howley, were heavily criticised following their opening defeat by Australia and unimpressive displays in wins over Argentina and Japan although they ended the autumn series with a 27-13 win over South Africa.

Gatland will announce his assistant coaches next Wednesday.

England forwards coach Steve Borthwick and Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell are set to also be part of the Lions' backroom team.

Glasgow head coach Townsend turned down the opportunity to join Gatland's coaching team in order to oversee Scotland's summer tour when he replaces Vern Cotter.