Fresh doubt over Shaun Edwards' future at Wigan Warriors

Shaun Edwards after being unveiled as Wigan coach from 2020
Shaun Edwards after being unveiled as Wigan coach from 2020

Wales coach Shaun Edwards has not finalised his next move after the World Cup, with an agreed switch to rugby league side Wigan appearing off the table.

Wales' defensive guru claimed his 50th career winners' medal as player and coach as Warren Gatland's men sealed the Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam with a 25-7 victory over Ireland in Cardiff.

The 52-year-old will depart his Wales post after the autumn's World Cup when he insisted he will be a free agent despite having previously agreed a deal with Super League side Wigan.

"On my future, my next step really is to sign a contract, I haven't signed a contract with anybody yet," Edwards said.

"I haven't signed a contract. The only team I'm not going to go to is Wales, because the new coach is going in a different direction.

"He wants to do something different. So that's where I'm at at the moment.

"So as it stands, come the end of the World Cup I'm unemployed. So that's where I am."

When Edwards was unveiled at a press conference as Warriors' head coach from 2020, it was reported he had signed a three-year deal.

Head coach Gatland will leave Wales after the World Cup along with Edwards, with Scarlets boss Wayne Pivac taking the helm for 2020.

Edwards spent 14 years with Wigan as a player in a stunning rugby league career where he earned 36 Great Britain caps.

He agreed a deal with Wigan nine months ago, but Edwards revealed the Super League club never produced a contract for him to sign.

He could now return to Wasps, where Edwards' previous spell as a coach - under Gatland - and then head coach returned two European Cups and four Premiership titles.

"I agreed with Wigan and thought we would sign a contract," said Edwards.

"But then Wigan said, 'it's OK, we'll sign one later', and I thought that was unusual. And that was nine months ago.

"I agreed to go to Wigan, but I never signed a contract.

"I'll consider all offers, league, union.

"All I can say is that I haven't signed anything with anybody."

In January, Edwards described joining Warriors as "an option" and - during a new interview with the Today programme on BBC Radio Four - Edwards again suggested the move home after the rugby union World Cup is not set in stone.

"If you live in Wigan, trust me, the pressure of coaching Wigan rugby league with the history of the club, it's very intense," he said. "It means a lot to the people of Wigan. When and if that challenge comes along I'll be ready to try to answer that challenge."

Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan told Wigantoday.net at the time: "Shaun has kept us up to date and we talk regularly. And if Adrian Lam wins every trophy available then that would be a nice dilemma for Shaun, Adrian and Wigan to have.

"We will all do the right thing by the Wigan club."

Edwards hailed Wales boss Gatland for producing his best-ever coaching in claiming his third Grand Slam at the Wales helm

Gatland predicted before the tournament started that if his side won in France in round one they could pull off a Grand Slam.

That clairvoyance was vindicated in a stunning performance at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Edwards said: "Obviously I've worked with Warren for many, many years now, and his coaching this campaign I think has been probably the best I've ever seen him coach. It has been amazing.

"It was like going back to being at Wasps in the grand final weeks, when we won three grand finals on the bounce, and winning Heineken Cups.

"One of the old Waspies texted me this morning and I said it's just like grand final week again. And obviously it ended up the same result.

"Warren's coaching in this campaign has been absolutely unbelievable.

"We work hard behind the scenes, we train hard.

"You reap what you sow, and in those down weeks Warren in particular is amazing at leading the lads, making them push themselves through the pain barrier, in the training, in the preparation.

"And we got the rewards in the games against England and obviously today."

Wigan Warriors have been approached for a comment.