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Shaun Edwards reveals real reason he made U-turn on becoming Wigan head coach

Rugby league legend Shaun Edwards has revealed the reason his proposed move to become Wigan Warriors head coach in 2020 fell through.

Edwards was announced as the new Wigan head coach from 2020 onwards in August 2018, with Adrian Lam taking over in 2019 before his supposed arrival.

However, that didn’t materialise with Edwards making a U-turn on his decision after deciding to stay with the Welsh Rugby Union side following a sustained period of success in the 15-man game.

The now French Rugby Union defence coach has recently been speaking on the BBC Five Live Rugby Union Daily podcast about his coaching career.

During the interview Edwards spoke briefly about his infamous backflip, stating: “I agreed to go to Wigan at first but that fell through because I wasn’t allowed to take any staff there with me.”

As mentioned, Edwards has since been appointed as France’s defence coach as part of Fabien Galthié staff – the former Wigan half-back has since helped Les Bleus to win a Six Nations Grand Slam and go through the entire year of 2022 unbeaten.

The 2022 Six Nations Grand Slam has added to an already impressive CV in both codes. In Union, Edwards has won four English Premierships and two Heineken Cup with Wasps, and helped guide Wales to three Six Nations titles during his time there. He was also a part of the coaching team that took the British and Irish Lions team to a series victory over Australia in 2013.

In League, he was part of the iconic Wigan side that won eight consecutive Challenge Cups, as well as three World Club Challenge titles. He was also awarded Man of Steel in 1990, and was recognised for his services to the game by receiving an OBE.

Despite bow being out of the 13-man code, Edwards also spoke about observing Catalans Dragons training sessions during the interview with Matt Dawson on the podcast.

“Yeah, I go watch [Catalans] train sometimes… I haven’t been this season but last season I’d watch them train,” said Edwards.

It follows on from Edwards comments earlier this week in which he also spoke to the France Bleu about going to Catalans on his days off.

“I love rugby and here, I enjoy the XIII and XV,” he said. “First and foremost, I am a supporter! First with the 15-a-side rugby teams, it’s my job to watch the games and cheer on the French teams.

“And then there’s 13-a-side rugby with the Catalans Dragons. I know Steve McNamara well. I go to training sometimes, to matches often.

“I love going there because I can see rugby but it’s not my job! I just have to relax. Because actually what’s most difficult about my job, and I challenge you to do the same thing to see it, is that I have to focus only on defence and not offense when I watch a game.

“When I go to the Dragons, at least I can watch the attacks and enjoy the game.”

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