Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Edwards to remain with Wales

Shaun Edwards
Shaun Edwards

Wales will announce on Monday that Shaun Edwards has signed a deal to remain as their defence coach for at least another four years, Press Association Sport understands.

The move ends any chance of former Great Britain rugby league international Edwards joining England's coaching team in the build-up to the 2015 World Cup.

Edwards had been a free agent after leaving his role as Wasps head coach this month, with his Wales contract having expired at the end of the World Cup in New Zealand.

The 45-year-old was heavily linked with a role with England, with Martin Johnson's future as manager in some doubt but if the Rugby Football Union were thinking about appointing Edwards to any position on the coaching staff, they have left it too late, having also failed to land him three and a half years ago.

Edwards had suggested earlier this month that he might consider an approach from the RFU.

"You consider any roles when you're a free agent," he said. "I'm here if anyone makes me an offer."

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis told Walesonline: "It was more than apparent through the extraordinary coverage in the UK press that Shaun was in considerable demand from many quarters and there were many options open to him in this country and in Europe.

"He smartly went off to New York last week just to get out of the country, because he was quite literally being bombarded. I kept in touch with him daily out there and concluded matters positively on Saturday. I'm delighted for Welsh rugby, I'm delighted for the team of coaches we've got and I'm delighted for Shaun.

"He has proved himself as a coach at the very highest level and we know what huge respect and affection he is held in, not only by the players but also by the Welsh rugby public.

"Our whole focus must be building on that and looking to the future. That is why the appointment of Shaun Edwards is so important."

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