Ruck and Maul: Edwards will be in the picture if England reshuffle coaches


England are bound to be alert to the grenade lobbed by Shaun Edwards after Wales's World Cup ended with Friday's 21-18 defeat by Australia.

Edwards signalled the end to his 10 years with Wasps, where he is head coach, and four years with Wales. "It looks like I'll be a free agent when I get back to England," said Edwards, who became Wales's part-time defence coach in January 2008.

"There's a chance I'll be unconnected at club and at international level. I'll make a statement when it all comes out properly but the club [Wasps] is in financial difficulties and maybe it's time for me to go on to bigger challenges. My future is up in the air. I'd have an open mind to anything."

A clearout by England appears inevitable. The manager Martin Johnson's performance has been publicly criticised by the man currently reviewing it, Fran Cotton, and the coaches John Wells (forwards), Brian Smith (attack) and Mike Ford (defence) are vulnerable.

The Hertfordshire-born, Oxford-educated former South Africa coach Nick Mallett has supporters at Twickenham – he has the worldwide experience and public face to carry off the head coach role.

Rank injustice

Now work this one out. Wales finished fourth in the World Cup but they will drop two places to eighth in the IRB world rankings tomorrow. England lost in the quarter-finals but have held the fifth place they were in at the start of the competition.

Wales started the World Cup in sixth but after three defeats they have fallen below Ireland and Argentina despite knocking the Irish out in the quarters.

England, by the way, last held the No 1 ranking in June 2004; they were fifth when Martin Johnson became manager in 2008, eighth in November 2009 and fourth in November 2010.

Deans joins Kiwis' crusade

Robbie Deans sent a "good luck" text to Richie McCaw – the pair won three Super Rugby titles at the Crusaders – before today's final.

"I've spoken to him too and wished him well," Deans, the former All Black full-back turned Wallabies coach, told Ruck and Maul. And would Deans, who nurtured half-a- dozen Canterbury players now in the All Black squad, take any personal pride in a New Zealand win?

"Now that we're out of it," he said. "I know how hard that group [New Zealand] have worked. It's their third dig, the nucleus of them. If they're successful in getting up, I'll be pleased for them."

Memories are made of this

What do you do when you have 40,000 items of rugby memorabilia and space to put 2,500 on display? Keep collecting, says Steve Berg, curator of the New Zealand Rugby Museum in Palmerston North, where a golden fern retrieved from an original blue New Zealand jersey vies for space with a box of fishhooks and tacks taken from the Christchurch pitch during the anti-apartheid protests of the Springboks' 1981 tour.

There is the 100-year-old whistle used to start every World Cup, which Berg hopes will be used for rugby's re-entry to the Olympics in 2016.

"The Webb Ellis Cup would be nice to have," said Berg. "And the jersey of the winning captain this year – whoever it turns out to be."

Toeing the party line

A favourite saying of any team who have done well at the World Cup is, "Don't rest on your laurels".

Not that it has been possible in the past few days in Auckland, with events hosted by England Rugby 2015, Japan Rugby 2019 and Visit Britain. It was possible in this social whirl to rub shoulders with a former Japanese prime minister, the British high commissioner to New Zealand and two former England captains, Lawrence Dallaglio and Martin Corry.

And though you may have tumbled out at the end unsure whether you were taking the Bullet Train to Big Ben or riding the Tube to Mount Fujiyama, the capacity of International Rugby Board types to enjoy a wine and sushi/cheese/hamburger party was not in doubt.

The vote to be the next IRB chairman between the incumbent, Bernard Lapasset, and challenger, Bill Beaumont, was adjourned last Wednesday, understood to be locked at 13-all. The whole boozy rigmarole will begin againin December.


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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent