Wigan Warriors bosses answer questions about Shaun Edwards U-turn saga

Kris Radlinski has opened up for the first time about events surrounding Shaun Edwards' U-turn on returning to Wigan.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:36 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd September 2021, 2:45 pm
Wigan legend Shaun Edwards

The Warriors' executive director admits he has had to "bite my tongue for a long time".

Edwards had appeared at a press conference at Wigan in 2018, when it was announced he would return to coach Wigan on a three-year deal from 2020.

But the following March he gave an interview saying he hadn't signed a contract and was open to offers. Within weeks, a joint-statement confirmed his U-turn.

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Warriors chairman - and majority owner - Ian Lenagan, together with Radlinski, held a fans' forum at Robin Park on Tuesday night.

The event in front of 120 supporters wasn't covered by the media or streamed on the club's TV channel, but a wide-ranging transcript has been published on the club's website.

In it, Radlinski reveals: "I understand why Ian didn't want to get into a public spat with such an iconic figure and wonderful player for our club. So, he probably did the respectable thing and said nothing, and I've been biting my tongue for a long time because I thought potentially that was the wrong thing to do.

"We were hearing rumours left, right and centre about him changing his mind but he never communicated these once with us.

"And then also there were other excuses brought up along the way, excuses like no signed contract, not being allowed to pick his staff, wanting to stay in rugby union. There were

reasons and factors behind all of them and we took them all on the chin.

"At the end, Shaun wasn't even communicating with us. He asked us to leave him and not contact him during the Six Nations.

"But he was talking to the media, and we were not allowed to defend ourselves. I think we could have done that better.

"Shaun, and I had probably three long meetings where he would talk about the game and how he would implement things. So, there's the truth. Personally, I think he let the chairman down more than people know. And it's been eating up at me, because Ian of all people didn't deserve that. So that's the truth."

Lenagan, who instead extended Adrian Lam's contract, said: "He will still be a great icon to me. I like him still as a person. But I regret the fact that we didn't have him as a Wigan coach."