Shaun Edwards off to Wales

Wasps coach Shaun Edwards the most successful coach in the Guinness Premiership will turn his back on England Rugby and join Wales for the Six Nations.


Edwards worked with Gatland at Wasps and together they formed a succesful partnership, something Gatland who has been appointed Wales national coach wants to rekindle.

According to the Guardian, Edwards will inform Twickenham bosses today that he will not be taking up their offer to coach the Saxons as the head of elite coaching Kevin Bowring, has offered Edwards in two recent meetings and that he wants to coach Wales.

In the seven years since Edwards switched codes from rugby league Edwards has won three Premiership titles, two Heineken Cups and the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Edwards is understood to be looking to improve on his coaching skills and believes that his next step is in the international arena and is eyeing an appointment now as a stepping stone to being involved with the Lions party to tour South Africa in 2009.

“There might be a conflict in some people’s eyes,” Edwards told the Guardian yesterday, “but coaches crossing borders is not unknown.


Kevin Bowring (who is trying to appoint Edwards for the Saxons) now works for the RFU after coaching Wales, [Australia’s] Eddie Jones worked with South Africa in the World Cup, Warren coached Ireland and Graham Henry and Steve Hansen both had charge of Wales.

“I want to improve as a coach, but above anything I didn’t want to harm my situation at Wasps. I want to go on coaching there and really it’s just a question of the club and Wales coming to some agreement.”

On Friday Gatland told the BBC that negotiations were close and then London Wasps chief executive Tony Copsey confirmed over the weekend that the Welsh Rugby Union has made an official approach for their head coach Shaun Edwards.

“It is still far from being a done deal,” Copsey told BBC Sport Wales.

“But we would hope to sort things as quickly as we can because it runs the risk of being distracting.”

The Telegraph also says that the deal has not been finalised and that Wasps have asked Wales for details of the job-share arrangement. “Wales are getting in touch with us,” Ian McGeechan, Wasps’ director of rugby, said.

“With something down in black and white the club can take it forward. That’s what the board are quite keen to have in front of them and we’re expecting to get that.”

It appears then that Edwards has made his mind up and that it is only a matter of time before he crosses the border to coach Wales with Warren Gatland who he worked with at Wasps.

Should Edwards be on the Wales bench it would be an embarrassment to England management as Dallaglio pointed out yesterday, “Shaun Edwards would be a huge asset for England and it would be disappointing to see him coaching Wales,” he said. “But when you compare the options it is not difficult to see which is more attractive.”

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