Coveted Edwards unsure of Welsh future

HIGHLY-REGARDED Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards is unsure if he will remain in the role after his side returns from their World Cup adventure.

The former rugby league star will be on the Welsh bench, potentially for the final time, on Friday for the third-place play-off against Australia.

Edwards, also head coach at Wasps, has been linked with 2015 tournament hosts England, whose tournament ended in quarter-final defeat by France.

“My contract is up at the end of the tournament and I’m not too sure what the future holds,” admitted Edwards.

“I’m not in a position to adjudicate what my future is in international rugby so it’s important that I just step back, reflect and first and foremost decide whether Wales don’t want me or whether my term as coach has come to an end or whatever.

“It’s really important – someone told me once “never make a decision when you’re emotional” and obviously the emotions are still running incredibly high at the moment.”

The Welsh Rugby Union are understandably keen to keep thier coaching unit, led by New Zealander Warren Gatland, and which also includes former international scrum-half Rob Howley.

WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis indicated that they were keen to retain Edwards, but admitted the former Wigan player’s situation was complicated.

“I have to be very respectful here,” Lewis said. “Shaun’s principal, primary employer is Wasps.

“Four years ago I had a very long and protracted negotiation, an understandably difficult negotiation with Wasps to get Shaun on release to us. Because that is the relationship, he’s on release to us. Shaun, we know, has been outstanding.”

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NEW ZEALAND coach Graham Henry claims he is taking little notice of France's unimpressive World Cup semi-final performance against Wales. The All Blacks have been installed as overwhelming favourites to land the Webb Ellis Trophy at France’s expense on Sunday, but Henry is taking nothing for granted: He said: “Although they didn’t play particularly well in their semi-final, we know they’ve got the ability to play outstandingly, and they have done that in the past.”