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Home » Rugby » Shaun Edwards speaks out with his move to Wigan Warriors officially OFF as he prepares to stay with Wales

Shaun Edwards speaks out with his move to Wigan Warriors officially OFF as he prepares to stay with Wales

Rugby league outfit Wigan Warriors have confirmed that Shaun Edwards will not become their head coach next season.

Last August, it was announced that Edwards would take up the top job with his old club, leaving Wales after the Rugby World Cup.

But, after weeks of speculation, Wigan have now confirmed that Edwards’ move to the Warriors, who he represented over 450 times in his playing career, is off.

And it now seems he is ready to stay on and work alongside new Wales boss Wayne Pivac, extending his stay beyond the World Cup.

Edwards cited a lack of preparation time for turning down the opportunity to join Wigan.

“After much thought and deliberation, I wish to clarify my situation,” Edwards said in a statement.

“I will not be taking up the head coaching role at Wigan, the reason being my lack of preparation. World Cup preparations have been brought forward a month and, as a result, I will be unable to spend eight weeks in Australia as planned on rugby league.

“I feel Wigan need a more experienced rugby league Head Coach than myself, to give the club and the people of Wigan the best team possible.



Shaun Edwards spent over a decade with Wigan Warriors as a player

“The Wigan deal I recently received is very favourable to all other offers I have had so far. For me, this is not about money, this is about Wigan Warriors getting the best man for the job which, at the moment, I feel is not me.”

Warren Gatland is leaving Wales after this year’s global showpiece and his three assistants – Rob Howley, Robin McBryde and Edwards – were expected to follow.

In December, incoming Wales boss Pivac announced his Stephen Jones as attack coach and Jonathan Humphreys as the new forwards coach.

But there was no word on a defence coach and speculation that Edwards would be staying put grew.

Over the weekend, it came to light that Edwards would be staying on in Wales, working on the defence alongside Byron Hayward, who is yet to be announced by Pivac as his Wales deputy.

In a statement, Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said: ”I have been conversing with Shaun for a number of weeks since the completion of the Six Nations and, yesterday, Shaun revealed to me that he thought a combination of circumstances meant he would be under-prepared to take on the Wigan Head Coach job in November 2019.

“He clearly feels that he is not the best man to take the team forward currently and I have to respect and accept this.

“Like every Wiganer, I wanted Shaun to lead the team and this very honest admission has taken me by surprise.

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“I have always admired Shaun and I wish him well with whatever he does next.”

Last year, Edwards was unveiled as the incoming Wigan head coach and presented at a press conference, donning a Wigan Warriors polo shirt.

But during interviews before the Six Nations, he referred to the job as ‘an option’ suggesting it was not locked in.

Then, after Wales secured the Grand Slam, Edwards revealed he had not signed a contract with Wigan and that he’d be unemployed after the Rugby World Cup, throwing the move into doubt.

All the while there were calls from all corners of Wales for the Welsh Rugby Union to pin him down and it seems they’ll be keeping hold of their man.

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