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Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 09:01 GMT
Edwards weighs up coaching offers
Shaun Edwards
Edwards worked under Warren Gatland at Wasps
Shaun Edwards expects to know where his immediate coaching future lies by the new year after holding talks with both Wales and England.

The Wasps head coach admits he needs international experience to fulfil his ambition of working with the Lions on their tour to South Africa in 2009.

"Is it Wales or England Saxons? Or is it neither?" Edwards, weighing up the two part-time roles, told The Guardian.

"If Wasps don't give their blessing I won't be going anywhere."

Edwards said the new Wales coach Warren Gatland, with whom he won the Heineken Cup and three Guinness Premiership titles at Wasps, has offered him a position, reported to be that of assistant coach.

I would like to be part of the full England set-up but I've always been intrigued by the Lions

Wasps coach Shaun Edwards

And the 41-year-old met the Rugby Football Union's head of elite coach development Kevin Bowring on Wednesday, with a view to taking over as Saxons coach.

Edwards's hopes of joining the senior England set-up under Brian Ashton appeared to be dashed when assistants Mike Ford and John Wells were re-appointed, although the head coach does have the option of adding to his backroom staff.

The rugby league legend refused to divulge any details of the talks with Bowring but made clear his desire to help prepare the British and Irish Lions for their series against the world champions.

"I would like to be part of the full England set-up, as any coach worth his salt would, but I've always been intrigued by the Lions and even in 2005 I hankered to be part of it," he said.

Tony Copsey
If you look at next year's programme, there would be 11 weekends just for games where he would be unavailable to us - I can't see how that would work

Tony Copsey, Wasps chief executive

"I was more or less informed that international credentials were needed.

"However, 2009 in South Africa is a burning ambition, so when Warren asked me to join up with Wales it seemed like the opening I needed to get to international level."

Edwards, who was asked to work with South Africa ahead of their triumphant 2007 World Cup campaign, said of the Saxons post: "I have been flattered to be asked.

"But the fact remains that Rob Andrew (the RFU's elite rugby director) hasn't contacted me, it's 18 months since I last spoke to Brian Ashton and I'm going to have a pretty torrid couple of days."

Wasps chief executive Tony Copsey says the London club are not prepared to share their man, who has more than two years left on his contract, with Wales.

"I can't see us sanctioning something like that in all honesty," the former Wales lock told BBC Wales Sport.


"We would look at it, but I don't see how it could work. The commitments for a coach internationally is a hell of a lot.

"If you look at next year's programme, there would be 11 weekends just for games where he would be unavailable to us. I can't see how that would work."

Former Wales lock Copsey added: "Compensation would be a consideration - you could argue someone's always got their price.

"But if we're going to lose our head coach for half the season I don't see really much point in that.

"Shaun is highly regarded at Wasps and we wouldn't want to lose him for that period of time.

"He's done a fantastic job for Wasps. He's probably the most successful coach in the modern era and it's absolutely right that this sort of speculation follows his reputation."

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