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Wales move to retain Shaun Edwards and the rest of Gatland's back room team until next World Cup

Gatland omitted Edwards from his Lions touring party in favour of Andy Farrell, but wants him by his side until 2019.

Image: Joe Giddens

WALES DEFENCE COACH Shaun Edward look likely to remain in his position for four more years after being offered a new contract in Warren Gatland’s back room team.

Edwards, who would have fit the bill to replace former Ireland defence coach Les Kiss, is out of contract with the WRU next month.

Rugby Union - 2015 RBS Six Nations - Scotland v Wales - Wales Training Session - Vale Hotel Source: Joe Giddens

 

There had been concerns that Edwards could be the face of a post-World Cup exodus from Team Wales with forwards coach Robin McBryde and attack coach Rob Howley also into single digits of months on their deal.

However, today’s statement from the WRU states Gatland’s intention to retain his full coaching ticket after the Rugby World Cup review was completed.

“We have had an extremely thorough review and I have subsequently spoken to all the coaches ideally wanting them to stay in place until at least 2019,” Gatland said of his “world class” assistants.

“I want Wales to continue to benefit from that level of skill and excellence in the years ahead. We have already been through a significant change with the departure of our Head of Physical Performance, Adam Beard, shortly before the Rugby World Cup, but Paul Stridgeon has proved an excellent replacement.

“It is very important to balance the need to invigorate and refresh any coaching environment with the desire to achieve continuity within a successful group.

“There has been some unhelpful speculation regarding the future of individuals within the coaching team and I would therefore ask for privacy and the process to be respected.”

Meanwhile, Scarlets have announced that their head coach Wayne Pivac has extended his contract in Llanelli until beyond the 2016/17 season.

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