Edwards expected 'the chop' if Wales failed at World Cup


Shaun Edwards thinks the Wales coaching staff would have been sacked if they had failed to reach the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup.

Defence coach Edwards was handed a new four-year contract by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) last month to end speculation over his future.

Edwards has played a key role in Wales' success since he was added to Warren Gatland's coaching staff eight years ago.

But the Englishman believes the WRU would have been looking beyond the current coaching set-up if Wales had not joined Australia in progressing from Pool A last year at the expense of his homeland.

He told WalesOnline: "It may well have been my last game [after the final Six Nations match last year].

"If we hadn't beaten England, it would have been my last game because we had to go through the group stages and probably all us lot would have had the chop [had we not].

"Maybe it would have been taken into consideration the amount of injuries we had and the fact that every difficulty was sent our way in that regard. But all that is done and dusted now and the thing I want to get on with is trying to win another Six Nations."

Edwards would also welcome the opportunity to work with the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand in 2017, with Gatland tipped to be coach once again.

"I would be interested in going on another Lions tour," said the former rugby league star.

"Unfortunately, with the last Lions tour to New Zealand in 2005 a lot of the coaches who went didn't have a job within a year. You have to take that into consideration as well.

"They got slaughtered. It is almost like Mission Impossible. I'm not being negative, I'm being truthful. Every Lions tour is special, but when you are playing the world champions it is doubly so."