Shaun Edwards has revealed the real reason why he won't be taking charge of Wigan - he doesn't think he is the best man for the role.
Wigan Warriors today issued a joint-statement with Edwards in which he admits he feels the club need a "more experienced rugby league head coach".
Edwards, who initially agreed to take on the role in August 2018, confirmed his intentions to club owner Ian Lenagan yesterday afternoon - hours after the Sunday Times reported he was due to extend his stay as Wales RU defence coach.
Edwards insisted money was not a driving issue.
He said: ''After much thought and deliberation, I wish to clarify my situation.
"I will not be taking up the head coaching role at Wigan, the reason being my lack of preparation. World Cup preparations have been brought forward a month and, as a result, I will be unable to spend eight weeks in Australia as planned on rugby league. I feel Wigan need a more experienced rugby league Head Coach than myself, to give the club and the people of Wigan the best team possible.
“The Wigan deal I recently received is very favourable to all other offers I have had so far. For me, this is not about money, this is about Wigan Warriors getting the best man for the job which, at the moment, I feel is not me.''
Today's confirmation will not come as a surprise to many given the events of the past few weeks.
Edwards had already cast doubts over his move before declaring - shortly after Wales' Six Nations triumph, for which he was widely lauded - himself a free agent at the end of this year.
"As it stands, come the end of the World Cup I'm unemployed," he said at the time. "I agreed to go to Wigan, but I never signed a contract. I'll consider all offers, league, union."
Lenagan gave Edwards more time to assess his options.
''I have been conversing with Shaun for a number of weeks since the completion of the Six Nations and, yesterday, Shaun revealed to me that he thought a combination of circumstances meant he would be under-prepared to take on the Wigan head coach job in November 2019," said Lenagan in the statement.
"He clearly feels that he is not the best man to take the team forward currently and I have to respect and accept this. Like every Wiganer, I wanted Shaun to lead the team and this very honest admission has taken me by surprise.
“I have always admired Shaun and I wish him well with whatever he does next.
“For us now our next steps are to confirm the coaching structure for 2020 and beyond and draw a line under the last few months and give our loyal fans the clarity they deserve.
"I’d like to thank our supporters for their patience and understanding in what has proven to be a very difficult situation to navigate and now we can concentrate on building more strong foundations to drive this wonderful club forward. We will announce our plans in due course.”