Friday 23 March 2018

Edwards in mix for England role

Wasps have confirmed that long-serving head coach Shaun Edwards has left the club, paving the way for a potential role with England.

Edwards (45) had been part of the coaching set-up at Wasps for a decade but departs after discussions with the club following the conclusion of the World Cup, where he served as Wales' defence coach.

In a joint statement released with the club, Edwards said of his departure: "I would like to thank the supporters, sponsors, fellow coaches and owners of London Wasps but most of all the many great players who I have had the privilege to coach in my 10 years at the club.

"I will always have fond memories of my time with Wasps and feel ready and excited for some new challenges ahead of me. The experiences of the recent British and Irish Lions tour and the recent World Cup have given me more knowledge than I have ever had."

Edwards' future at the club had been in doubt after he recently revealed that he expected to return from the World Cup, where he helped Wales to a fourth-place finish, as a "free agent".

The former rugby league star became head coach of Wasps in 2002 -- under director of rugby Warren Gatland -- and guided the club to four Premiership titles and two to the Heineken Cups.

The Rugby Football Union, who are set to discuss the future of team manager Martin Johnson after a disappointing World Cup campaign, could move to bring in Edwards, either as part of a new coaching team led by Johnson or as Johnson's successor.

Edwards worked on a part-time basis for Wales from the beginning of 2008, with Wasps allowing him to be available to link up with Gatland's side for Test matches, but his contract with Wales expired after their World Cup exit.

Wasps' director of rugby Dai Young wants the club to move forward quickly.

"Sometimes you have got to move on and you have to do things that are under your control -- we have got to move on accordingly," he said.

Irish Independent

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