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Long-term Gatland assistant Edwards will return to rugby league after World Cup

Wigan Warriors have announced that Edwards will take up a head coach role from 2020.

Shaun Edwards, set to be Wigan Warriors coach
Shaun Edwards, set to be Wigan Warriors coach

SHAUN EDWARDS WILL return to Wigan Warriors to take over as head coach from 2020, after fellow club legend Adrian Lam has led the side in the preceding campaign.

Edwards, who turned out for the Warriors between 1983 and 1997 and won a host of honours, has spent the past 17 years in rugby union, working with Warren Gatland with Wasps and Wales as defence coach – a period that has delivered three Six Nations titles including two Grand Slams for the Principality – and he also won the Heineken Cup as head coach of Wasps in 2007.

Having signed a three-year deal at the DW Stadium, he will enjoy a homecoming after Wales’ World Cup commitments in Japan next year, with another former Warrior, Lam – a 2002 Challenge Cup winner – to steer the ship through 2019.

The pair’s appointments were announced on Wednesday, with incumbent Shaun Wane having confirmed in May he would not be extending his stay beyond this season.

“Shaun Edwards is a legendary figure in both codes of rugby as a supremely gifted player and as a highly successful coach,” Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan said.

“He is an inspirational figure, a born leader and a winner at everything he has turned his attention to. He also has Wigan Rugby League Club in his blood. We’re delighted to have been able to bring Shaun back to the club which he represented with such distinction.

“Shaun will undoubtedly inject some fresh ideas and impetus into the game, drawing on his extensive experience in rugby union, and we’re proud to have made such a progressive appointment. We’re looking forward to how he builds on the very strong foundations that we have in place at Wigan.

“Wigan enjoys a global standing within our sport and beyond and, having Shaun at the helm is a shot in arm for the club and also for the sport of rugby league and the Super League competition.”

“We’re extremely fortunate to have a man of Adrian’s calibre to come into the head coach role on an interim basis for the 2019 season,” added Lenagan on Lam.

“Adrian won the hearts and minds of every Wigan fan during his time here as a player and he’s coming to Wigan as one of Australia’s brightest and most respected coaches having coached the Papua New Guinea national team and with the Sydney Roosters.

“He’s a great addition – one that myself, [executive director] Kris Radlinski and Shaun Edwards are extremely enthused about.”

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