Rugby World Cup 2011
WRU eye new deal for Edwards
October 17, 2011
Shaun Edwards played his part in Wales' progression to the last four of the Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) group chief executive Roger Lewis has revealed that he will do his utmost to retain the services of defence coach Shaun Edwards after the World Cup.
Edwards' existing deal with the WRU will expire after the completion of Wales' campaign this weekend and it had been expected that he would return full time to his coaching position with London Wasps.
However, given that the former League international is such an integral part of head coach Warren Gatland's backroom team, Lewis is desperate to do what he can to negotiate a new deal with Edwards and his club.
"Any discussion about Shaun's future has to take place first with Wasps," he said. "There is no doubt he has been absolutely outstanding for Welsh rugby, and I am on record for saying that, but there is not a lot we can say until we have had that conversation with Wasps, out of respect for his position with them.
"They have always been his principal employer. Let's wait until this World Cup is over, and in the cold light of day we can consider the future."
Lewis has been overjoyed by the performances of the national team in New Zealand, with Wales reaching the last four for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1987. That they have done so with so many exciting young players, such as captain Sam Warburton, No.8 Toby Faletau and winger George North, is an enormous source of excitement for the WRU chief executive.
"It truly is an exciting period," Lewis said. "This is most probably the first golden era of Welsh rugby in the professional era.
"It has given us all a great deal of confidence, it has given us all a greater pride, it has given us a sense that we have such an exciting future ahead of us."
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