Wearing his elder statesman cap he won 85 of them for England before announcing his retirement Lawrence Dallaglio was in a mischievous mood. Shaun Edwards, the former rugby league legend who has performed wonders at Wasps, is expected to play a coaching role with Wales rather than England. "Hopefully Wales will let Shaun work with the senior team," Dallaglio commented.
It was a stinging criticism of the Rugby Football Union who had offered Edwards a junior role in shepherding the England Saxons on a part-time basis. The RFU claimed that, under an agreement with the Premiership clubs, they could not appoint a coach to the elite squad on similar terms, the point being that Edwards had expressed an interest in being involved in international rugby provided he kept his job at Wasps.
Warren Gatland, the new Wales coach who had a successful relationship with Edwards at Wasps, says he is "very close" to appointing the Englishman. If so, Edwards would divide his time working in London and Cardiff. "There are only a few wee details to sort out," Gatland claimed, although Ian McGeechan, Wasps' director of rugby, said the issue was "still a work in progress" and a decision had yet to be made by the club's board.
Dallaglio also had some advice for the England coach, Brian Ashton, on the future of Danny Cipriani, the young Wasps' stand-off expected to be named in the England elite squad on Wednesday. "I'm sure Danny will be introduced at some point but the question is how and when. There are lessons to be learnt. When new guys are picked they need to play at Twickenham. That is how Jonny Wilkinson was introduced. Let's hope they don't wait to blood them on the summer tour to New Zealand."
Cipriani kicked two penalties and converted two tries in Saturday's win over Leeds before being replaced in the 51st minute. At that point Wasps led 25-3 but the Yorkshire club, who are bottom of the Premiership, did not go down without a fightback. Stuart Lancaster, the Leeds head coach, said. "We're hugely disappointed we didn't get anything out of it but if we keep working hard and believing in ourselves it will come. It's a long way from the end."
Wasps one defeat in their last 11 matches were without Phil Vickery and James Haskell (both will be named in the England squad) but welcomed back Joe Worsley and Tom Palmer after long lay-offs.
Worlsey scored their first try, created by Eoin Reddan, and then Cipriani, after a misjudgement, managed to deliver a scoring pass to Fraser Waters.
A solo effort by Josh Lewsey after 47 minutes put Wasps within touching distance of a bonus point but Leeds responded with tries from Mike MacDonald and Joe Bedford while the admirable Tom Biggs came within inches of scoring another. It was Leeds who deserved a bonus point.
Wasps: Tries Worsley, Waters, Lewsey; Conversions Cipriani 2; Penalties Cipriani 2. Leeds Carnegie: Tries MacDonald, Bedford; Conversions Di Bernardo 2; Penalty Hinton.
Wasps: M Brown; D Strettle, D W Barry, J Turner-Hall, U Monye; A Jarvis, A Gomarsall (S So'oialo, 55); C Jones, G Botha (T Fuga, 55), M Ross, O Kohn (J Percival, 63), J Evans, C Robshaw (C Hala'Ufia, 63), N Easter (capt), W Skinner.
Leeds Carnegie: B Russell; R Haughton (R Penney, 55), K Sorrell, A Farrell, K Ratuvou; G Jackson, N de Kock (capt); N Lloyd, F Ongaro, C Johnson, H Vyvyan, C Jack, K Chesney (T Ryder, 59), B Skirving (A Kyriacou, 77), R Hill (D Seymour, 59).
Referee: T Spreadbury (Gloucestershire).Reuse content