The 12 Fails of Christmas: Day 1 – ‘I defend the right to ask questions … keep asking them’

Christmas is a time for celebration, so here at we’ve decided to celebrate the illustrious career of our favourite rugby writer, Andy Howell of the Western Mail.

So, pour yourself a glass of sherry, grab a mince pie, sit back and relax, and enjoy the first instalment of our 12 Fails of Christmas – the wisdom of Andy Howell….

I defend the right to ask questions … keep asking them

After a recent minor controversy involving Warren Gatland and interviewer Sonja McLaughlan, Howell tweeted that he ‘defends the right of people to ask questions as WG, SE do of players’ and ‘free speech equal questions, keep asking them’.

However that ‘free speech equal questions’ line appeared to be a little more awkward for Howell himself. After claiming the Irish provinces were working on only £4.1m and less than the Welsh regions, Howell was asked for his source, as it was at odds with the official IRFU Annual Report which stated over €32m was spent on the professional game.

After a response (backed up by no source) of ‘that’s the official figures, 100% official, end of debate’, Andy ‘I defend the right to ask questions’ Howell proceeded to block all those who queried his information. The claim was subsequently then utterly debunked by an article on this website looking into and analysing Leinster’s official audited accounts (undoubtedly involving far more research than any of Howell’s work this year), and got no response from Howell, who ran away from the debate still offering nothing to back up his claim.

Stay tuned for day 2 of our Festive Fails countdown tomorrow.

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