Wales RU chief Martyn Phillips to hold talks with Shaun Edwards amid doubt over Wigan Warriors future

Wales RU could offer Shaun Edwards a job if talks with Wigan Warriors are unsuccessful.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 8:11 am
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 9:18 am
Shaun Edwards

The Wigan RL legend’s future with the Super League champions is in major doubt, after he revealed last weekend he has not signed a deal to coach Wigan from 2020.

Edwards is the Wales defence coach, picking-up his 50th career winner’s medal last weekend as his side won the Six Nations Grand Slam, and was due to leave after this autumn’s World Cup.

But with Edwards having said on Wednesday he “needs time to think” over his future, and that a statement will probably be made in the coming days, WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips has stepped in to say they will hold talks with the former scrum half.

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Phillips said: “If Shaun is saying he’s potentially open to other things, and I genuinely don’t know where he really is with Wigan, that’s a conversation we would want to have with him.”

But Phillips insists bosses won’t interfere with incoming Wales coach Wayne Pivac’s choice of defence coach.

He said: “The agreement we had with Wayne was to say: ‘Look, we have brought you in relatively early here, you have got the luxury of time to look at the coaching team you might want’.

“It’s never about one individual, it’s about the blend. I totally believe the head coach picks their assistants. That’s got absolutely nothing to do with me.

“Whoever the Welsh defence coach is going to be is Wayne’s decision.

“I know Wayne and Shaun had a conversation quite early on where Wayne was saying: ‘Look, I’m really open-minded to this’.

“I think Shaun had said to him: ‘Look, I might have a chance of a job at Wigan’.

“And Wayne said: ‘That’s pretty quick, I want to take time to do this properly’.

“Then I think in fairly short order, my understanding at the time was Shaun had signed with Wigan and that was all communicated.

“Then I saw the media at the weekend with Shaun saying: 'I haven’t had a contract from them'.

“So literally, on Monday evening at the Senedd (Wales National Assembly building), I saw Shaun and said: ‘Look, it would be good to have a chat because you are a great coach, you’re somebody Wales would always want to have a conversation with’.

“He said: ‘No problem, let’s pick up when I get back from holiday’.

This week reports also surfaced that Edwards’ former RU club Wasps could table an offer to bring him back.

Director of rugby Dai Young said: "Certainly somebody like Shaun would be a fantastic statement for the club and it would be a fantastic addition to the coaching team.

"Whether that will happen or not I don't know is the honest answer. But if it's not Shaun, we would still be in the market to looking to improve what we've got."