Seats are getting hotter at Leicester Tigers, as the 10-times champions of English rugby edge closer and closer to the relegation spot in the Gallagher Premiership.
Tigers currently sit in 10th in the table but are just five points away from 12th and Newcastle Falcons, with Leicester set to travel to Kingston Park to take on the side from the north-east in the coming weeks.
The club have made the move to bring in Mike Ford on a short-term basis to help them move away from their perilous spot near the bottom, whilst reports have also linked them with a move for Michael Cheika after the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
RugbyPass understand that another name on the Tigers’ shortlist is current Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards.
In a scenario where the club would bring in Cheika, the Australian would assume the mantle of director of rugby and Geordan Murphy would remain as head coach, whilst any move for Edwards would result in the former British and Irish Lions coach taking up the head coach role and Murphy transitioning into a director of rugby position.
Edwards’ future has been the subject of much speculation recently, with his supposed impending move to Wigan Warriors and back to rugby league not as done and dusted as it was believed to be. Since news emerged that Edwards had not signed his contract with Wigan, both England and Wasps have been linked with the defence coach.
The 52-year-old would be no stranger to Wasps, having helped the club to four Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups during his 10-year tenure with the side. He was the architect of Wasps’ notorious blitz defence that was a major component in allowing the club to compete with Leicester at the summit of English rugby for such a prolonged period.
Leicester’s defence has been a significant issue for the side from the East Midlands this season, with the club conceding the joint-most tries in the competition and boasting the worst points differential of all 12 teams, with their attack unable to shoulder the burden of keeping up.
The Times recently reported that the WRU blocked a short-term move from Leicester for Edwards’ services, with Tigers eyeing up both he and Ford as reinforcements for the season run-in, but as a long-term move after the RWC, the challenge of rousing this sleeping giant of English rugby could be one that is too tempting for Edwards to turn down.
Watch: Cheika talks Hooper and Pocock, Wales and feline ornaments
Watch the Heineken Champions Cup Final live on RugbyPass throughout Asia and Australia.