Aviva Premiership
Edwards quits London Irish post
ESPN Staff
January 1, 2013
Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards enjoys his side's victory, Wales v France, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, March 17, 2012
Shaun Edwards has ended his involvement with London Irish © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Shaun Edwards
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Shaun Edwards has stepped down from his consultancy role with London Irish to concentrate on his work with Wales.

The highly-regarded defence specialist has been working with the Premiership side on a part-time basis since the start of the season alongside his responsibilities as an assistant to Wales coach Warren Gatland. But with the Exiles currently 11th in the table, one point above bottom-placed Sale Sharks having conceded 31 tries, Edwards has opted to cut his ties with the club.

"After consultation with Roger Lewis, CEO of the WRU, I am to concentrate solely on Welsh rugby in the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2015," Edwards said in a statement. "Thus my consultancy work will cease with immediate effect."

London Irish boss Brian Smith praised Edwards' contribution and vowed to build on the work he has done at the Madejski Stadium. "I have always been a supporter of Shaun Edwards and that will not change," Smith said. "He is a world class defence coach and has put in place structures, strategies and techniques that we will take forward. I will step up on the defensive side for the remainder of this season. We would like to thank him for his efforts over the last six months and wish him well for the future."

Edwards initially made his name as a coach with London Wasps where he enjoyed a successful stint working under Gatland that included Premiership and Heineken Cup glory. He would later accept a post in the Wales coaching team following Gatland's appointment in 2007 and has since helped steer them to two Six Nations Grand Slams and a Rugby World Cup semi-final. He was also part of the British & Irish Lions coaching team In 2009 but was overlooked by Gatland for this year's tour to Australia.

Wales kick off their Six Nations campaign against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on February 2.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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