Departing Edwards hints at going into exile

Wasps 13 Northampton 24

Adams Park

The consensus that Northampton will climb the Premiership table
now their World Cup players are back was reinforced by this
comprehensive victory. Two third-quarter tries by props Soane
Tonga'uiha and Brian Mujati were too much for a struggling Wasps
side distracted in part by saying goodbye to Shaun Edwards.

Wasps' despondent players stayed on the pitch to applaud a presentation to Edwards after his recent parting with the club where he spent 10 years, latterly as the head coach. Edwards is out of contract with Wales too, after being their defence specialist since 2008. Wasps director Lawrence Dallaglio and Northampton's England wing Chris Ashton used press interviews yesterday to advance Edwards's case for England employment. But the former Wigan rugby league legend hinted for the first time that a move abroad might be on his radar.

Asked about England – and perhaps nudging the RFU along – Edwards said: "When you're a free agent you consider any roles that come your way. Maybe even go overseas – [that] could be an option for me at a certain time in my career. I've got to decide that over the next six to eight weeks."

Speaking over the Wasps PA system to their biggest crowd of the season (8,222) Edwards nominated the Heineken Cup triumphs of 2004 and 2007 as his highlights. Wasps look a long way off being able to repeat those feats any time soon. A team's worth of internationals has gone into retirement or off to other clubs in recent seasons and the owner, Steve Hayes, is looking for a buyer and a new idea for a better stadium.

On the pitch, the roles of two of the second rows were instructive. Wasps' Marco Wentzel was a ubiquitous workhorse, yet his side found themselves light at the breakdown and conceded too many penalties for offside and killing the ball. Simon Shaw might have lent Wentzel support or relief from the bench, but the England veteran is under a cloud as he seeks a move abroad.

Meanwhile, Northampton's England second row Courtney Lawes showed yet again he is prepared to risk censure for his trademark tackles and he was marginally the right side of the law with a couple of ballistic lunges at Nicky Robinson and Hugo Southwell.

"I'm just being myself," said Lawes, who was sent to the sin-bin for a shoulder charge against Newcastle the previous weekend. "I don't go out to play dirty, I live on the edge and I like to make big hits." His director of rugby, Jim Mallinder, concurred. "Take that out of his game and you'd have half the player," Mallinder said.

Riki Flutey's neat try from Joe Simpson's box-kick and Christian Wade's clever lobbed pass, plus a Robinson penalty, kept Wasps within four points at half-time after Ryan Lamb kicked four of his six penalties. What looked a blatant forward pass from Lawes to Tom May assisted in Tonga'uiha's try a minute into the second half, then the galloping Mujati swatted Robinson away for a try converted by Lamb. A second Wasps try in the 71st minute by Ross Filipo – the lock first slowed down the move then retrieved it with a dive from a ruck – made little difference.

Wasps: Tries Flutey, Filipo; Penalty Robinson.

Northampton: Tries Tonga'uiha, Mujati; Conversion Lamb; Penalties Lamb 4.

Wasps H Southwell; C Wade, C Bell, R Flutey, T Varndell (C Mayor, 76); N Robinson, J Simpson; T Payne, R Webber (T Lindsay, 65), B Broster (Z Taulafo, 58), R Filipo, M Wentzel, R Birkett, J Poff (M Everard, 71), J Hart (capt, J Burton, 75).

Northampton B Foden; C Ashton, J Clarke, T May, V Artemyev; R Lamb (S Myler, 69), L Dickson (M Roberts, 69); S Tonga'uiha (A Waller, 71), D Hartley (capt, M Haywood, 76), B Mujati (P Doran-Jones, 65), C Lawes (S Manoa, 64), M Sorenson, C Clark (T Wood, 59), R Dowson, R Wilson.

Referee T Wigglesworth (Yorkshire).

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot