Wigan Warriors legend Shaun Edwards pens huge multi-year deal as Kevin Sinfield backed for major role

WIGAN WARRIORS legend Shaun Edwards has pinned his sail to the mast in terms of his future within the 15-man code.

With the sacking of Eddie Jones as England rugby union boss, there had been calls for Edwards to be given the job, but the Wigan legend has committed himself to French rugby union.

Despite meeting the chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, Bill Sweeney, England have missed their chance in trying to lure Edwards with fellow rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield tipped for a major role inside the national camp.

“In modern sport, experienced coaches always plan a year or two ahead,” Edwards explained in The Mail. “You need to provide security for your family and France acknowledged that by getting the deal done quickly.

“People have asked if I wanted to join England but there was no offer on the table. I went for a walk down the River Thames with Bill Sweeney, the RFU CEO, last year but there’s not been much conversation since. It’s not for me to push that.”

In the future, Edwards wants to be a head coach but has admitted that his current language skills are not good enough.

“I will always keep an open mind about coaching England, or maybe returning to Wales, but now my sole focus is on France,” said Edwards. “My French language skills aren’t good enough to be a head coach, so for now I’ll be continuing as defence coach.

“At some point in future I’d like to make that step up to head coach at international level. I’m 56 years old and I’d like to coach into my 70s, like Wayne Bennett is doing in rugby league in Brisbane. I’ve still got plenty of time.”

Meanwhile, former England coach Sir Clive Woodward has backed current Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick to take over the role – with Leeds Rhinos hero Sinfield also backed to join him.

Woodward said: “I knew Borthwick as a player and he must be given the full support and resources to ensure there are no excuses — the one thing for sure is the media bandwagon around Jones will disappear with Steve — what you see is what you get and that alone will be a breath of fresh air. I have no doubt every single English player will look forward to working with him and his team.

“He must be allowed to bring in his own coaching team, and if I was him I would definitely bring Kevin Sinfield over from Leicester. He’s the only defence coach out there who can soften the blow of missing out on Shaun Edwards.”