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Shaun Edwards lift lids on England approach and a return to Wales

By Ian Cameron
Barbarians Defence Coach, Shaun Edwards and Eddie Jones, Head Coach of England speak in the tunnel during the International match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on June 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Much sought-after France defence coach Shaun Edwards has revealed he has designs on being a head coach at international level – and is open to both roles with either England or Wales.

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For the time being Edwards has clarified that his immediate future is with Les Bleus, whom he has recently signed a new contract with.

In his Daily Mail column, Edwards outlines his desire to coach rugby union as a head coach and says he had a conversation with England in 2021, but not offer was forthcoming. Given the success of his former rugby league teammate Andy Farrell with Ireland, the transition from defence to the head coach at Test level would seem like the next logical step for the Wigan man.

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“Fabien Galthie asked in September if I’d be interested in staying on for a few more years and the FFR followed up by putting a long-term contract in front of me. It’s all done and dusted, so now I can just focus on my job.

“In modern sport, experienced coaches always plan a year or two ahead. You need to provide security for your family and France acknowledged that by getting the deal done quickly.

“People have asked if I wanted to join England but there was no offer on the table. I went for a walk down the River Thames with Bill Sweeney, the RFU CEO, last year but there’s not been much conversation since. It’s not for me to push that.

“I will always keep an open mind about coaching England, or maybe returning to Wales, but now my sole focus is on France. My French language skills aren’t good enough to be a head coach, so for now I’ll be continuing as defence coach.

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“At some point in future I’d like to make that step up to head coach at international level. I’m 56 years old and I’d like to coach into my 70s

“There’s still plenty I want to achieve, like winning the World Cup and winning a Lions series.”

 

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