Shaun Edwards' future likely to be in France after World Cup
By PA Media
Last Updated: 02/09/19 10:22pm
Shaun Edwards' international coaching future looks set to be in France after the Rugby World Cup.
Edwards will leave his assistant coach role with Wales following the tournament, ending a 12-year stint with the team.
During that time, former Wigan rugby league star Edwards has been a key figure in plotting four Six Nations title triumphs, three Grand Slams and a World Cup semi-final appearance.
He was poised to make a post-World Cup return to Wigan as head coach, but that arrangement was announced as officially being off earlier this year, and then he rejected a new Welsh Rugby Union contract.
France - and a role with the national team - has been his next speculated port of call for several months.
Speaking on Monday, defence specialist Edwards said he was "going to France," while also adding that there were "a few things to sort out there, so it's not definite."
Asked if he would rather go into the World Cup in Japan settled in his mind on what he is doing next, Edwards added: "I've gone into the last two World Cups knowing if we don't do well I will have no job afterwards.
"So I prefer to be on edge. I used to sign one-year contracts at Wigan sometimes."
The French Rugby Federation has so far made no announcement regarding any swoop for Edwards, but FRF president Bernard Laporte is a known admirer of the 52-year-old Lancastrian.
Edwards, meanwhile, says he is "a little bit sick" of watching other countries contest Rugby World Cup finals.
And he has set himself a target of breaking that mould by helping Wales reach the showpiece occasion on November 2.
Edwards watched as Wales suffered an agonising semi-final exit in 2011 after captain Sam Warburton was sent off against France, then four years later, an injury-ravaged Wales squad saw itself edged out by quarter-final opponents South Africa at Twickenham.
"We have performed relatively well at World Cups so far," he said. "But I am a little bit sick of watching everybody else in the finals. That's how I work.
"There is only one defence coach in the northern hemisphere who has ever won the World Cup, and that's Phil Larder [with England in 2003].
"Phil was a great mentor to me - he led the way for people from rugby league to come into rugby union, him and Clive Griffiths - and I have got a lot to thank them for.
"So I have set myself a little target, trying to get into a final and just take it from there.
"I was so happy I didn't have to watch the one [final] in New Zealand (2011) as we were on the plane home, thank God.
"I didn't watch it for three or four months afterwards, but then saw how close France were to winning it. And the last one (2015), it was painful watching it."