Edwards suspended after fracas with backroom staff

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The Independent Online

Shaun Edwards has been suspended by the Welsh Rugby Union after a late-night incident at the team's HQ. The Wales defence coach was allegedly involved in an altercation with the team sports scientist Fergus Connolly.

The spat took place at the Vale of Glamorgan hotel, where the team are based during the Six Nations, after last week's victory over Ireland. Connolly was also suspended for a week by the WRU.

Neither Connolly nor Edwards travelled with the team to Paris for last night's game against France. A team spokesman said: "It is an internal issue that has been dealt with. Neither Shaun or Fergus has travelled with the squad." Edwards will return to duty for the summer fixture against the Barbarians in Cardiff on 4 June.

But this latest incident could bring into question his long-term future with Wales when his contract expires after the World Cup in October.

Wasps coach Edwards joined Wales in 2008, winning the Grand Slam in his first three months, and was part of the British Lions coaching staff a year later. But he has been forced to divide his time between club and country.

It will also raise questions over the conduct of the Wales camp. They went back to the hotel after the 19-13 win over Ireland in Cardiff last Saturday, rather than celebrate with fans.

That is due to a self-imposed curfew within Warren Gatland's camp, put in place as a result of the infamous "buggygate" scandal involving Andy Powell during last year's Six Nations.

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