Happy to remain 
defensive heart 
of Wales

Forwards coach Shaun Edwards during a Wales training session
Forwards coach Shaun Edwards during a Wales training session
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ANYONE expecting to see Shaun Edwards emerge as the next England rugby union coach should think again.

Although his contract is up with the Wales RU and there has been plenty of speculation about his future, the defence coach is in talks about extending his run alongside Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

Edwards, of course, has been in the position since 2008, helping them to three Six Nations titles including two Grand Slams.

He certainly has the credentials to interest England as they look for a successor to head coach Stuart Lancaster who quit on Wednesday after a dismal World Cup.

But Edwards said: “I’ve been speaking to Warren over the last few weeks. There’s a few details to be ironed out.

“We’ll see what offers I get but there has been some chat with Wales so, hopefully, we’ll see what happens.”

Meanwhile, he does not believe Sam Burgess, the rugby league convert so lambasted for his part in England’s doomed World Cup having only switched codes 12 months earlier, is to blame for their early exit at the pool stages.

Burgess, 26, left Bath this week just one year into this three-year contract to return to South Sydney.

Controversially, he started at centre in England’s 28-25 loss to Edwards’s Wales in the crucial ‘Group of Death’ game that led to the hosts becoming the first to fail to qualify from their pool.

“We scored 10 points in 10 minutes when Sam went off so…!” said Edwards.

“They were ahead when he was replaced. I don’t really want to get into all that but I thought Sam was playing some good rugby, having just changed from rugby league to union.

“It’s quite difficult to change from a forward to back but when I saw him play for Bath in the Premiership final against Saracens – who are a bloody good side – I thought he was their best forward that day. He was excellent.

“That’s not easy when you’ve only been playing the game for six months.

“He’s taken criticism for wanting to go back but he has every right to feel home-sick – his brothers are back playing in Sydney and his mum lives there.”