Edwards: Toulon stint would have helped me and Wales


Shaun Edwards believes both he and Wales would have benefited had he been granted permission to work with Toulon.

Wales defence coach Edwards had been expected to take up a part-time position with the Top 14 club, after receiving the blessing of head coach Warren Gatland.

However, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) duly released a statement confirming the move had been blocked, stating: "The scope of the opportunity has changed and [it] would represent an unacceptable compromise."

In an interview with WalesOnline, Edwards said: "I want Welsh fans to know the truth, which is that I would never prioritise anything over the Wales team.

"Warren had said I could go. He and I think I could learn from working with those great players they have at Toulon and bring some of the knowledge gained back to Wales.

"I felt it would have been a vehicle to develop myself as a coach because you're always learning and bring the findings back. I do think Wales and I would have benefited from it.

"But the union has said I can't go, so I can't."

Explaining the terms of the proposed deal, Edwards added: "I would have only popped over on a consultancy basis. It would have been about a dozen sessions over the full season."

"Toulon have never practised defence before but after being hammered by Wasps in last season's Champions Cup they decided to do so.

"I feel I would have improved as a coach working with star names like Duane Vermeulen, Ma'a Nonu and Bryan Habana.

"Habana is the player I most of all wanted to work alongside because left wing has been a defensive weakness for us with Wales and is an area we need to improve."