Edwards 'excited' as he departs Wasps


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The Independent Online

Wasps yesterday confirmed their long-serving head coach, Shaun Edwards, had left the club on the same day the Rugby Football Union Council met at Twickenham to discuss the future of England manager Martin Johnson.

Edwards had been part of the coaching set-up at Wasps for a decade but departs after discussions with the club following the World Cup, where he served as Wales' defence coach. Edwards said: "I'd like to thank the supporters, sponsors, coaches and owners of Wasps but most of all the many great players who I have had the privilege to coach in my 10 years at the club.

"I will always have fond memories of my time with Wasps and feel ready and excited for some new challenges ahead of me. The experiences of the recent British and Irish Lions tour and the recent World Cup have given me more knowledge than I have ever had."

Edwards's future at the club had been in doubt after he recently revealed that he expected to return from the World Cup, where he helped Wales to a fourth-place finish, as a "free agent". The former rugby league player became head coach of Wasps in 2002 and guided them to four Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups.

In a busy day for Wasps, it was also announced that the England international Simon Shaw will soon leave the club, despite only signing a new contract three months ago. An earlier statement read: "Simon signed a contract extension in August, before leaving for the World Cup. Simon requested that the club did not announce this at the time for personal reasons, which the club was happy to comply with. Upon his return, he informed the club last week that he would like to finish his career overseas. The club are very disappointed with this news and await an official approach for the player."