Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Edwards leaves Wasps post

Shaun Edwards

Shaun Edwards has left his position as head coach of Aviva Premiership side Wasps, the club have confirmed.

Edwards has doubled up the Wasps post with his role as a part-time defence coach with Wales, and has recently returned from the World Cup in New Zealand where Wales reached the semi-finals.

The former rugby league star is understood to have attracted the interest of the Rugby Football Union, who have yet to confirm the future of team manager Martin Johnson.

In a joint statement released with the club, Edwards said of his departure: "I would like to thank the supporters, sponsors, fellow coaches and owners of London Wasps but most of all the many great players who I have had the privilege to coach in my 10 years at the club.

"I will always have fond memories of my time with Wasps and feel ready and excited for some new challenges ahead of me. The experiences of the recent British and Irish Lions tour and the recent World Cup have given me more knowledge than I have ever had."

Edwards' future at the club had been in doubt after he recently revealed that he expected to return from the World Cup as a "free agent". Edwards spent 10 years at Wasps, winning four league titles and two Heineken Cups, and has been released from his Adams Park contract which had just over 18 months remaining.

With his Wales contract having expired following the third-place play-off defeat to Australia, Edwards is a man in demand. WRU chief executive Roger Lewis is known to be keen to ensure that Edwards and the remainder of Warren Gatland's coaching set-up remain with the national side.

In a busy day for Wasps, it was also announced that England international Simon Shaw will soon leave the club, despite only penning a new contract three months ago.

An earlier statement read: "Simon Shaw signed a contract extension with London Wasps in August, before leaving for the Rugby World Cup with England. Simon requested that the club did not announce this at the time for personal reasons, which the club was happy to comply with.

"Upon his return, he informed the club last week that he would like to finish his career overseas. The club are very disappointed with this news and await an official approach for the player."

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