EXCLUSIVE: England blow it as Shaun Edwards pens new contract with France… with ex-Wales coach adamant he ‘wasn’t in a position to turn down the offer’ amid cost of living crisis
England’s hopes of recruiting Shaun Edwards are over after the coach signed on for four more years with France.
Edwards met with the RFU last year and was tipped to land a role with England after next year’s World Cup.
However, the 56-year-old revealed in his Sportsmail column: ‘I’m delighted to sign. It’s all done and dusted. I will always keep an open mind about coaching England, or maybe returning to Wales, but now my sole focus is on France.
‘I wasn’t in a position to turn down the offer.’
Shaun Edwards has signed a contract extension with France and will stay with them until 2027
Edwards has said no offer arrived for a job with England, despite a meeting with RFU last year
Edwards pointed to the ongoing cost of living crisis and his desire to focus on rugby, rather than his future, as key determiners in him taking France up on their offer.
‘We’re in a cost of living crisis, with clubs like Wasps and Worcester sadly going out of business,’ he said.
‘I remember how close I was to having no job after the 2015 World Cup and I don’t need any more of those sleepless nights.
Edwards will stay on as a defensive coach but hasn’t ruled out being a head coach in the future
‘I’m not from a wealthy family. I grew up in Wigan with not very much money and have always used rugby to provide for my parents. I wasn’t in a position to turn down the offer from France.’
As for his conversation with England, Edwards has explained no offer was ever made, despite what was being intimated elsewhere.
‘People have asked if I wanted to join England but there was no offer on the table,’ he said. ‘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.