Tuesday 11 December 2018

'It was a surreal experience with one of my coaches' - Mike McCarthy shares a classic Shaun Edwards story

Mike McCarthy (inset) played under Shaun Edwards at Wasps
Mike McCarthy (inset) played under Shaun Edwards at Wasps
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Mike McCarthy has shared a very funny experience he had with Wales and Lions defence coach Shaun Edwards during his time with Wasps.

McCarthy, who was forced into retirement in the summer with an elbow injury, joined Luke Fitzgerald for this week's episode of The Left Wing podcast.

Both McCarthy and Fitzgerald played under Edwards. Fitzgerald during the 2009 Lions tour and McCarthy in London.

"I really like him although I thought I got shafted on one occasion with the Lions but they were gonna drop me anyway but I thought it was a nice tee-up to be theatrical and there is no better man. He's great at that stuff," Fitzgerald said.

"I'd say he's a bit rawer than an Andy Farrell.

"He's a lot of fun but it gets lost on the kind on intense persona he has."

Read more: 'He's not a screamer or a shouter' - Mike McCarthy and Luke Fitzgerald on Joe Schmidt's infamous video reviews

McCarthy clearly enjoyed learning from Edwards and had a few classic anecdotes to share on the Welshman.

"He brought in the blitz defence and he brought that really great line-speed to Wasps. Everyone is doing it now," he said.

"He's a great fella but he's a bit of a mad man as well.

"I remember you'd be walking past him in the corridor and say, 'Alright Shaun' and you'd be passed all you'd hear would be him shadow-boxing down the corridor and in the middle of a gym session and he'd say, 'Hold that for me mate', and he'd give you a medicine ball and he'd start pounding the medicine ball.

"He's the only coach I've been in a nightclub with who has been pepper-sprayed out of the place.

"We were in Paris years ago and something kicked off and we were outside and the bouncers had mace spray or pepper-spray. He was trying to look after one of the lads who had been filled in by someone.

"It was a surreal experience with one of your coaches."


Subscribe to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's Rugby podcast, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

Listen and subscribe to The Left Wing on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport