Monday 22 January 2018

Edwards in Wasps exit

Shaun Edwards has agreed to part company with English Premiership side Wasps, which will fuel suggestions that he could link up with England at a future date.

Edwards hinted at his departure when in New Zealand for the World Cup in his role as Wales' defence coach.

The former rugby league star will leave the club in the hands of director of rugby Dai Young and his assistant Paul Turner.

Edwards is also out of contract with Wales and his availability will undoubtedly increase speculation about a possible role in the England set-up, with head coach Martin Johnson and his staff yet to make a decision on their futures.

Meanwhile, Northampton's director of rugby Jim Mallinder has declared his interest in the England coaching job.

Mallinder (45) said: "Every player should aspire to play for his country and I think that's the same for coaches too -- aspire to be the best you can.

"If one day I ever have that honour, it would be something that would be very difficult to turn down."

Johnson's contract expires next month and it is still uncertain if he wants to continue in the job or if the RFU want him to remain in charge. His fate is the subject of two reviews, one headed by the RFU rugby operations director Rob Andrew, the other by former RFU vice-chairman Fran Cotton.

Mallinder, who played full-back for Sale, took Northampton to last season's Heineken Cup final. He played twice for England in 1997 and coached England Saxons between 2006 and '07.

World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry could be another contender after admitting he is interested in coaching in Europe after quitting New Zealand.

"I would like to spend a little bit of time assisting, if there is a demand from a club or from a union in Europe," Henry said. "It would be stimulating."

Irish Independent

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