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It's official: Edwards quits Wales

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'This has been an incredibly difficult decision to reach, but I won't be renewing my contract'

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards will leave Welsh Rugby later this year after the conclusion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Edwards, who has been part of the Wales coaching team since 2008, has decided not to sign a new two-year deal with the WRU but will continue to be an integral part of Warren Gatland’s coaching team through until the end of the RWC.

His future employment is still uncertain, though, as he has been linked to the France national rugby union team and any number of Gallagher Premiership clubs after deciding to turn down an offer to join Wigan Warriors in rugby league’s Super League.

“After more than 10 years with Wales this has been an incredibly difficult decision to reach, but I won’t be renewing my contract,” said Edwards. “I would like to thank Warren and the WRU for the opportunity I have had working with the national team.

“We have won four Six Nations titles during my time with Wales, but I sincerely hope and believe that the best days are yet to come and I am fully focused on seeing what we can achieve in Japan.”

Incoming Wales boss Wayne Pivac said: “Shaun has a great history with Wales and has been part of a coaching team that has been very successful.

“When Shaun’s availability post RWC recently became apparent we worked with him to offer him a new contract which he was happy with and for him to be part of the new look coaching team going forward.

“Shaun has decided not to take that contract, which we must respect and we wish Shaun the very best in what lies ahead for him post Wales.”

Current Wales boss Gatland, who said at a World Cup training squad announcement that he was sick of the media speculation surrounding Edwards, added: “Shaun has been an important part of the Wales set up over the past 11 years for what has been a hugely rewarding time for Welsh rugby.

“It is pleasing that we can draw a line under the speculation regarding Shaun’s future with this announcement and we can look forward to preparing the squad for the RWC and the tournament itself in Japan later this year.”

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'This has been an incredibly difficult decision to reach, but I won't be renewing my contract'