News24

Edwards to coach England?

2011-11-02 15:09

London - Shaun Edwards may be in line for an international coaching role with England or Wales after he left English rugby union club Wasps on Wednesday.

The former British rugby league international had been with Wasps since 2001, joining as backs coach and taking sole charge in 2002. He combined the role with that of assistant to Wales coach Warren Gatland since 2008.

Wasps said that "Edwards will leave the club after 10 years of outstanding service to pursue other opportunities."

Edwards has been linked with roles with Wales and England, who are reviewing their national team setup following a dismal World Cup in which they failed to impress and lost to France in the quarter-finals.

"Shaun is rightly held in great esteem and high affection by everyone associated with the club and he is leaving a massive legacy here," Wasps director Lawrence Dallaglio said. "He has developed into one of the most highly respected coaches in world rugby and both the club and Shaun himself feel that now is the right time for him to go on and continue to develop himself as a coach in another environment and perhaps at a higher level.

"We have no doubt that Shaun's reputation, greatly enhanced by his work with Wales at the recent World Cup, will present him with many opportunities at the top level of the sport and he departs from Wasps with the best wishes from everyone at the club."

Wales finished in fourth place at the World Cup under Gatland and Edwards, who helped Wasps win four English Premiership titles, two Heineken Cups, one Anglo-Welsh Cup and a European Shield.

"I will always have fond memories of my time with Wasps and feel ready and excited for some new challenges ahead of me," Edwards said. "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."

The upheaval at Wasps on Wednesday included a decision by veteran lock Simon Shaw that he wanted to leave the club. The 38-year-old England international, who has played for Wasps since 1997, signed a new contract with the London side only before leaving for the Rugby World Cup.

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

AP