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Defence coach Edwards confirms Wales exit after turning down new contract

The former English rugby league star is in high demand after helping Wales to four Six Nations Championships.

Edwards in Cardiff during the Six Nations this year.
Edwards in Cardiff during the Six Nations this year.
Image: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

INCOMING HEAD COACH Wayne Pivac will have another position to fill in the Wales backroom team next year as Shaun Edwards confirmed he will depart the principality after a decade.

The defence coach, who previously looked set to return to rugby league coaching with Wigan, came under public pressure from departing head coach Warren Gatland this week amid increasing interest from France.

“I’m sick of reading about it in the newspapers every day,” Gatland said early this week.

“I can let that go at the moment because we’re not in (training or camp) as a squad. But if it goes on much longer I will have some words with people to get it sorted because there has been enough speculation and talk.”

In a statement released by the WRU today signalling Edwards’ departure, Gatland said:

“It is pleasing that we can draw a line under the speculation regarding Shaun’s future with this announcement and we can look forward to preparing the squad for the Rugby World Cup.”

In his parting words, Edwards also looked towards Japan, where Wales take on Australia and Fiji in Pool D, with England, France and Argentina among potential quarter-final opponents.

“After more than 10 years with Wales this has been an incredibly difficult decision to reach but I won’t be renewing my contract. I would like to thank Warren and the WRU for the opportunity I have had working with the national team.”

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“We have won four Six Nations titles during my time with Wales, but I sincerely hope and believe that the best days are yet to come and I am fully focused on seeing what we can achieve in Japan.”

Along with Gatland and Edwards, forwards coach Robin McBryde this week announced he would depart Wales to take up a role with Leinster.

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Sean Farrell

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