Edwards hits back at Wigan criticism

Shaun Edwards has spoken “for the last time” about his decision to walk away from a coaching role at Wigan Warriors.

Edwards spoke exclusively to League Express about the aborted appointment with his hometown club after he initially agreed to become head-coach for the 2020 season.

“I thought this had all died down,” Edwards said.

“But it came up again a couple of weeks ago.”

The 54-year-old France rugby union defence coach was prompted by recent comments from Warriors’ Chief Executive Kris Radlinski (following a Fans’ Forum at the DW Stadium), who said he thought Edwards had “let the chairman down more than people know.”

But Wigan legend Edwards responded, “I’ve had a lot of stick in Wigan since I made my decision and so have members of my family. At the time I thought it best to leave it alone.

“But it came up again recently following a Wigan fans’ seminar and there were comments from the club about the issue, so I think I should put it firmly to bed.

“I have been asked many times why I am not the current coach at Wigan and there is a very simple reason: if you cannot select your own staff, are you the head coach?”

Edwards had agreed to become Wigan coach in 2018 but could only join the club once his commitments in rugby union were complete. He asked the Warriors to put contracts together for support staff prior to his appointment, but he maintains that no efforts were made.

He added, “I wanted to be the Wigan coach and I asked for certain personnel to be appointed alongside me, but the club made no effort to contact those people for so long that it became clear to me that I couldn’t do the job.

“How can you be a head coach if you cannot select your own staff?

“The club hadn’t even made a phone call for four months to the people I had put forward, so I asked the agent who was in charge of the deal to send a message that I wasn’t going to go to Wigan.”

Edwards has since taken up a role as defence coach for the French national rugby union side and has moved to live in Perpignan, becoming a passionate supporter of Catalans Dragons.

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