Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards to join London Irish

 

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards is to join the London Irish coaching staff after the Grand Slam winners' summer tour to Australia.

The Aviva Premiership club confirmed the former Wasps coach will join the coaching team following the news Toby Booth, Justin Bishop and Neal Hatley are to leave the club.

Edwards will continue in his role as Wales defence coach, but spend one day a week at the Aviva Premiership side as allowed under his contract, it was reported in the Guardian.

Edwards was a key member of the Wasps coaching team when the club won Premiership titles in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and the Heineken Cup in 2004 and 2007.

He joined Wales as defence coach under Warren Gatland in 2008, helping them win the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2008 and 2012.

The former Great Britain rugby league international told the Exile's official website: "I'm excited at the opportunity of being involved in a Premiership club set up again.

"London Irish has some fantastic players who I am looking forward to working with. The squad has put in some great performances this season and have been unlucky not to come away with more wins. I want to work with the team to see how we can then turn those frustrating last-minute defeats into victories."

Irish director of rugby Brian Smith will also take on a more hands-on coaching role to run the team's attack, the club revealed.

Smith said: "Shaun is a world-class coach and he has been responsible for introducing a defensive system that has changed the shape of the modern game, consistently producing watertight defences in the Premiership, Six Nations, Lion's tours and Rugby World Cups. He is a tough, hard-nosed coach, who I am confident will, alongside me, help to bring out the very best in the London Irish squad.

"We will have a strategy in place for next season to slash the numbers of points we concede in the Aviva Premiership. If we can do that then, this time next year, we can be a top four team and two games away from silverware."

Irish also confirmed they are looking to announce the appointment of a new forwards coach shortly.

Head coach Booth is leaving his post to work under Gary Gold, the new head coach at Bath, with Exiles academy coach Neal Flatley also moving to the Recreation Ground.

Booth's defence coach Bishop has "decided to progress on to new opportunities within rugby," Irish announced.

Irish finished seventh in the Premiership table with eight wins and 13 losses from 22 games.

PA

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