Wasps remain confident over Edwards

Wasps remain confident that Shaun Edwards will continue as head coach with the Heineken Cup champions, even if he accepts an offer to join Warren Gatland’s Wales set-up.

It is understood that Gatland and Edwards will meet to discuss the possibility of reviving the successful partnership they had at Wasps that yielded the Heineken Cup as well as three Guinness Premiership titles.

Now Gatland is head coach of Wales it is widely expected he will form a support staff comprising those who made his time at Wasps so memorable.

That will include Edwards as defence coach, Cardiff coach Rob Howley in charge of the backs and Craig White, the former Wasps fitness guru, becoming the man to get the Welsh into tip-top shape.

However Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan is confident that Edwards will want to remain involved with the day-to-day coaching, even if he does accept Gatland’s offer.

“Shaun signed a three-year deal with Wasps and there are still two years to go,” McGeechan told The Daily Mail.

“He likes the every day work of being a club coach and he turned down a job offer from England last year because of this.

“South Africa were also interested in him earlier this year and now there is talk about Wales. Shaun has been faithful to Wasps and the club have been faithful to him and it will come down to his decision and I know that he is still very ambitious for Wasps.”

Newly appointed Gatland has made it clear that he will be turning to his former Wasps ‘mates’ for help as he will be given only two weeks with the Welsh squad before they take on England at Twickenham in February.

“There may be one or two people I have worked with who I might be able to persuade to come here [Wales] over the next few months,” Gatland said.

Edwards has made no secret of his desire to experience life as coach at Test level in rugby union having played at the very top in rugby league.

“If I have to choose between Wasps and another job then it would be very difficult because some of these lads are like family to me,” Edwards said.

“Leaving Wigan was a very tough decision for me and I cannot tell you what leaving Wasps would be like because I haven’t made that decision.”

Edwards says he will not make any change to his status without speaking to Kevin Bowring, the Rugby Football Union’s head of coaching.

“I have a huge amount of respect for Kevin and when I was offered the South African job I spoke to him before it fell through,” Edwards added.

All the talk about a new job will not distract Edwards from preparing Wasps for their Cup match at Llanelli on Saturday and his keen eye for detail helped sort out a problem that cost England wing Paul Sackey a try against Munster.

“I spotted Paul had football style blades and with the evening kick-off and damp conditions he lost his footing and I told him to change his boots at half-time and he didn’t fall over after that,” he concluded.


365 Digital

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