Wales secure defence coach Edwards until 2019

Shaun Edwards has extended his contract with Wales

Wales have retained assistant coach Shaun Edwards until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup ending speculation that he could join England.

Englishman Edwards has extensively been linked to the England team throughout his term with Wales which started in 2008 but again the much spoken about move has failed to materialise.

The new contract will see the highly sought after Edwards looking after the Wales defence for a third Rugby World Cup.

Edwards joined the WRU national squad coaching team in 2008 on a part time basis and, alongside head coach Warren Gatland and fellow coaches Rob Howley, Robin McBryde and Neil Jenkins oversaw Wales’ Six Nations Grand Slam in his debut season as an international coach.

During his career with Wales the national side have won three Six Nations titles, including two Grand Slams and reached the semi-final and quarter-final of the 2011 and 2015 RWC respectively.

As he prepares for a ninth Six Nations campaign, Edwards has outlined his delight at signing a new contract.

“I’m delighted to have signed a new contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and to continue to be part of an environment I really enjoy working in,” he said.

“As a coach it is fantastic to work alongside such a dedicated and talented group of players and to be part of a strong management team.

“Warren has assembled a great team off the field and it’s a great environment. I get to work alongside some of the best coaches and management in the world and alongside some of my best friends in the game Rhys Long (WRU Head of Analysis) and Paul Stridgeon (WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance).”

“For me it is great to have signed through until 2019, but as I always have done, my focus is always on the next match and the next competition, which for us is the Six Nations.”

The former Rugby League playing great, who captained England in both League and Union at schoolboy level, began his coaching career in Union alongside Gatland at London Wasps in 2001, where the duo won three consecutive Premiership titles and the Heineken Cup during the four seasons they were together.

Edwards committed his future to Wales with a four-year deal after the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and has repeated that act in 2015.

“It is extremely positive for the WRU and the national squad to announce we have secured Shaun’s services for another four years,” said Welsh Rugby Union Group Chief Executive, Martyn Phillips.

“Under Warren the national squad have assembled an outstanding management team and Shaun is a vital part of that team.

“Shaun has shown great loyalty to Wales since he came into the role back in 2008 and as the squad prepare for their next campaign and looking further ahead to the next four year cycle it is important they have the structure and resources in place.”

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