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I'll be leaving Wales for Les Bleus, reveals coach Edwards

Moving on: Wales’ Shaun Edwards has new job lined up
Moving on: Wales’ Shaun Edwards has new job lined up

By Alex Bywater

Shaun Edwards broke his silence over his future by yesterday admitting he is close to joining Wales' Six Nations rivals France after the World Cup.

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Edwards will leave his role as Welsh defence supremo at the end of the tournament in Japan, but has previously stayed tight-lipped over talk of him signing with Les Bleus.

The 52-year-old had agreed to return to his former side Wigan Warriors in rugby league earlier this year before pulling out of the deal.

It looked likely he would stay with Wales at that stage, but France have swooped to tie down the signature of one of world rugby's best operators. France are yet to officially confirm the deal, but it's understood Edwards will move across the channel.

"I'll be at the next World Cup because I am going to France," Edwards laughed. "It's not been announced. There are a few things to sort out so it's not definite, but I will be staying in rugby union."

Edwards has worked with Wales since 2008 and has been a central figure under Warren Gatland as the Dragons have claimed three Six Nations Grand Slams.

He believes Wigan will continue to thrive without him and that he can end his time in Wales by helping them claim global glory.

Edwards added: "Adrian Lam and I are still close friends. He said Wigan would struggle at the start of the season with Zak Hardaker and lot of new players.

"I said Wigan needed a more experienced rugby league coach than me, and I was right - they are now doing well. I think they'll win Super League this year again."

Edwards was part of the Wales set-up which lost in the 2011 World Cup semi-final and four years ago Gatland's men were hit by injuries as they exited at the last eight. The World Cup is one major crown which has eluded Edwards, who has 50 trophies in a glittering playing and coaching career across two codes.

"We have done a lot of good things in the last 18 months, but you have got to do it when it matters," he added.

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