Saturday 23 September 2017

Edwards hits back at critics after 'harmless hand gesture'

Welsh coach Shaun Edwards celebrates a try during the Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Welsh coach Shaun Edwards celebrates a try during the Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

James Corrigan

Shaun Edwards has put up a resounding two fingers to the critics who focused on the "harmless hand gesture" he made at the end of Wales' win against Ireland.

Rob Howley's assistant said he was bemused by the reaction to the picture which quickly did the rounds on social media in the wake of the 22-9 victory at the Principality Stadium on Friday. It seemed to show Edwards putting up his middle finger in the direction of the pitch, just after Jamie Roberts had ensured the triumph.

"I was very disappointed," Edwards said. "It was just a harmless hand gesture. I was throwing a punch in the air and people are talking about that rather than an incredible defensive performance where Ireland were kept try-less for the first time for four years.

"I'm a child of the '90s and if you are going to say something rude you stick two fingers up, not one."

Edwards was furious at the ease with which Scotland unpicked the Welsh defence in their 29-13 win but he believes that the rearguard effort against Ireland was the finest since he joined in 2008.

Read more: 'If you are going to say something rude you stick two fingers up and not one' - Shaun Edwards on Ireland celebration

"It was the best because of the standard of the opponent," he said. "The last time they hadn't scored a try in a Six Nations game was in 2013 and they have been averaging 30-odd points a game recently.

"I didn't think it was possible to keep a top-four team to single-digit points."

Wales have conceded the fewest tries (five) of any team in this Championship and Edwards wants to stay top of the defensive charts.

"We're one fewer than France so it's a straight shootout between us in Paris on Saturday," he said. "So that's a huge motivation for us - we want that defensive title." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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