Edwards will leave Wales after 2019 World Cup
Wales have confirmed that defence coach Shaun Edwards will leave after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Edwards, who had been offered a new contract by Wales, decided not to join rugby league side Wigan as head coach.
The 52-year-old has also been linked with France’s national union team as well as some English Premiership clubs.
“After more than 10 years with Wales this has been an incredibly difficult decision to reach but I won’t be renewing my contract,” Edwards said.
“I would like to thank Warren [Gatland, Wales head coach] and the WRU [Welsh Rugby Union] for the opportunity I have had working with the national team.
“We have won four Six Nations titles during my time with Wales, but I sincerely hope and believe that the best days are yet to come and I am fully focused on seeing what we can achieve in Japan.”
Edwards has helped Wales win four Six Nations titles – including three Grand Slams – since joining in 2008. His contract expires after the 2019 World Cup.
Gatland praised Edwards’ contribution but said he was pleased his future had been settled.
“Shaun has been an important part of the Wales set up over the past 11 years for what has been a hugely rewarding time for Welsh rugby,” Gatland said.
“It is pleasing that we can draw a line under the speculation regarding Shaun’s future with this announcement and we can look forward to preparing the squad for the RWC and the tournament itself in Japan later this year.”
Former Wasps coach Edwards had been due to take over at rugby league side Wigan in 2020 but revealed after the Grand Slam victory over Ireland in March that he had not signed a contract.
Byron Hayward, who has been part of future Wales coach Wayne Pivac’s backroom staff at the Scarlets, is expected to follow Pivac to join Wales’ coaching team.
“Shaun has a great history with Wales and has been part of a coaching team that has been very successful,” Pivac said.
“When Shaun’s availability post-RWC recently became apparent we worked with him to offer him a new contract which he was happy with and for him to be part of the new-look coaching team going forward.
“Shaun has decided not to take that contract, which we must respect and we wish Shaun the very best in what lies ahead for him post Wales.”