Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Edwards: I almost quit

Shaun Edwards was close to leaving his coaching duties with Wales

Shaun Edwards has revealed he almost turned his back on rugby union after being overlooked for this summer's British and Irish Lions tour, but that Wales' RBS 6 Nations triumph banished the pain of that omission.

The Wales defensive coach said he contemplated leaving Britain for the ARL after being left off the staff for the tour of Australia by Warren Gatland. But he said Saturday's Six Nations triumph, thanks to the stunning 30-3 win over England, justified his decision to continue.

"This one (title) is special for a personal reason, if only because it wraps up a period which started in a dark place," Edwards wrote in the Guardian. "I've had plenty of highs in my professional life - 42 medals as a player, 11 trophies in 12 years as a coach - but the time that tested me most was the three days after discovering that I wasn't going to be part of the Lions coaching squad this summer."

He added: "Whereas 2009 with the Lions in South Africa was one of the big highs, hearing that I was not going to be part of the set-up in Australia made me want to chuck the whole lot in.

"There were ideas of turning my back on union, going back to league, possibly even leaving the country to re-learn my trade as an assistant coach with the ARL.

"It took me 72 hours to banish those ideas and, on Saturday, among the Welsh players and fellow coaching staff, I understood why I did. They've been great to me, treating me as one of their own and it's a lucky man who can be part of such a set-up."

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