League Express editor MARTYN SADLER suggests one key reason why prospective Wigan coach Shaun Edwards may be having second thoughts about returning to the DW Stadium in 2020.
Plenty of pundits and Wigan supporters have been scratching their heads to try to work out why Shaun Edwards, who was so enthusiastic about returning to Super League with the Warriors in 2020, seems suddenly to have changed his mind.
Certainly, when Wigan last year revealed their audacious plan to instal Edwards in the hot seat in 2020 after the intended departure of Adrian Lam at the end of this season, it looked like a perfect fit for both the club and one of their most iconic former players.
But now things appear to have fallen apart. Wigan Chairman Ian Lenagan has admitted that a written contract was never signed by either party and the club is officially giving Edwards more time to think about whether he really does want to take up the job.
So why does he now seem so uncertain.
I suspect it’s because Edwards had someone in particular in mind to be his right-hand man, and was under the impression that Wigan would go out of their way to secure his targeted candidate.
That man is Richard Hunwicks, pictured above, currently Head of Performance at the Catalans Dragons, who also currently performs a similar role with the England Knights.
His contract with the Dragons expires at the end of this season and he is apparently keen to return to the UK. I understand that he had several meetings with Edwards last year, and the two of them found that they have very compatible views on how to approach the job. Shaun therefore made it clear to the club that Richard was the man he wanted alongside him, and the club accepted his recommendation.
Since then, however, they do not appear to have engaged Hunwicks in any sort of discussion about a possible role, which has led Shaun to believe that Wigan were not serious about recruiting him.
Is it all just another misunderstanding?
On the basis of the recent evidence, it certainly could be, and if so; if Wigan still want Edwards at the DW Stadium next season, perhaps they should sort out this particular issue.
Having said that, haowever, can we be sure that Wigan still want Shaun Edwards ?
The jury is out on that one.
Martyn Sadler writes his Talking Rugby League column every Monday in League Express. You can hear him discussing this point in the latest Totalrl.com podcast.