Shaun Edwards ready for new challenge as France defence coach
Shaun Edwards hopes to help France develop a killer instinct in games that are tight when he takes over as trainer following month.
Edwards’ 12-year stint as Wales coach came to an end after the Rugby World Cup and he is busy preparing for his new role with Les Bleus under their head coach Fabian Galthie.
France were knocked from the World Cup at the quarter-final stage by Edwards and Wales, the Most Recent in a line of narrow defeats against the Six Nations champions.
However, Edwards is currently excited about working together with the players as they build towards their Six Nations opener and was amazed with their performances.
Speaking to Will Greenwood’s Podcast,” Edwards said:”France left a Great Deal of progress at the last World Cup. Fabian went in with some other members of staff and, let’s be truthful, [Wales] were quite fortunate to conquer them.
“Unfortunately we did not find them against England, that could have been a fantastic test for these after being severely defeated by England [44-8] in the last Six Nations.
“We had a meeting a few weeks past. My principal message to the coaches is that we will need to start winning those matches.
“Most matches in elite level game are one-score games. Wales dropped by three points.
“France need to discover the ability to acquire these one-score games. The previous six occasions Wales have performed with France it’s been one score in any event.”
Edwards held talks with France this season after assisting Wales win a Six Nations Grand Slam.
Wales surrendered 65 points and seven tries during the championship, which had been in stark contrast to France who sent 15 tries and 118 points.
“The French lads play with a great deal of passion but that is not enough at any given level nowadays,” explained Edwards.
“We must have structures in place. I am certain they’d structure but they appeared to lose it at particular times, particularly against England.
“I can’t expect to place all the detail I’d with Wales in right off as that will be overload. But what’s great for me is they have generally been doing the same thing. He had been fairly honest with me he said he pretty much copied Wales’ defence. So it’s not brand new to the gamers.”
France’s deal was too good to refuse, although edwards was connected with a number such as a return to rugby league along with his former team Wigan Warriors.
“France would be the only global staff that gave me a guaranteed four-and-a-half-year deal so I chose to head there,” said Edwards, who has been studying homes in Perpignan where there’s already a Wigan based – Sam and Joel Tomkins play Super League side Catalans Dragons.
“There was talk from other states but a few were just last-minute bargains. I had consistently signed roadside deals with Wales.”
Edwards is going to probably be reunited with Raphael Ibanez, who is the club manager of now France and played under him at Wasps, and confessed his involvement was a factor.
He’s spent the last two weeks observing players in Champions Cup action. On paper, he states France is a match for anybody. The job is translating that .
“Consistency, and consistency of both strategies and endurance,” responded Edwards when asked about the greatest challenge confronting France.
“They have some large talented athletes that are quite skilful also. My remit will be to deliver intensity and this professionalism.
“I have been a professional since 1983 and at that period I have learned an awful lot about the sport , things to do and to not do. Hopefully I can contribute.”