Warren Gatland says he is “sick of reading” about the speculation surrounding Shaun Edwards’ post-World Cup coaching future, believing it will become a distraction “if it does go on any longer” as Wales’ World Cup preparations begin to take shape.
Wales defence specialist Edwards will be part of Gatland’s coaching team in Japan later this year, but there remains considerable uncertainty about what he will do after the tournament.
He has been offered a contract to extend his 11-year stay with Wales, who will be headed up by Gatland’s successor Wayne Pivac following the competition, but roles with England and France have also proved a matter of speculation.
Edwards announced earlier this month that he would not be taking up a head coaching role at Wigan. He had been presented to the media last summer as the Super League club’s next coaching supremo. “I have to be honest and say I’m sick of reading about it in the newspapers every day,” Gatland said. “I can let that go at the moment because we’re not in here (Wales’ training base) as a squad.
“But if it goes on much longer then I will be having some words with people to get it sorted out because there has been enough speculation and talk that has gone on. Someone needs to make a decision. It’s not affecting us at the moment because we are not in camp and the players are with the regions.
— L'ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) April 22, 2019
“We come into camp over the next four to six weeks, and presumably it will be well and truly sorted by then. I’ve had one conversation with Shaun about what he was doing, which was very brief. He said he wasn’t quite sure. That was pretty much the extent of it.
“Ideally, you would like that decision to be made pretty quickly whether he’s staying in Wales, going to France, going to England, or whatever he’s doing. It’s not something I am worried about because he’s here for the World Cup and focused on that.
— WalesOnline Rugby (@WalesRugby) April 17, 2019
“It’s more of an issue for the WRU (Welsh Rugby Union), Wayne Pivac and Shaun to deal with. If it does go on any longer, then I think it would be a distraction.”
Pivac has already appointed former Wales players Stephen Jones (attack) and Jonathan Humphreys (forwards) to his coaching staff. Gatland added: “The union have made an offer (to Edwards) and they have made it in good faith. I think Shaun has to make his mind up where he’s going.
“We all thought Shaun had agreed terms with Wigan, and that somehow changed. It’s a waiting game at the moment, and we will see what decision he makes. It’s not something I would put up with.”
– Press Association
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