- Edwards on becoming Head Coach in 2020
- Wigan legend is excited for the challenge
- Edwards: “Wigan is absolutely through my bones”
Shaun Edwards revealed his excitement of taking over as Head Coach in 2020 as the Wigan legend admitted the Club lies within his bones.
He spoke at his and Adrian Lam’s press conference at the DW Stadium on Thursday, as it was announced that Lam will return to the Club to take up the interim Head Coach position for the 2019 season while Edwards will join his boyhood team once again when his commitments with the Wales Rugby Union side come to an end after the World Cup.
Speaking at the press conference, Edwards said: “The way I’ve been accepted by the Welsh people; they treat me as one of their own and I’ve probably never had support like it in my whole career so I think it would have been untoward of me to break off just a year from the Rugby Union World Cup and it would have been a little disloyal of me to do that because the Welsh people have accepted me absolutely unbelievably well.
“I did speak to some people in Wales but I would have been there 12 years by the end of the World Cup and the more I come back to Wigan, this week in particular, the more and more excited I get about this job and the future of Wigan Rugby League.
“I only left Wigan because I had a son and I wanted to be part of his life. He’s 21 now and he’s my best mate and I’ve come home and he lives in Scotland now so Wigan Rugby League was a huge part of my life for 31 years, as I was a supporter before I obviously become a player.
“Even when I’ve been in London in my Rugby Union career for 18 years with Wasps and Wales, the first result we always look for is Wigan. Whenever Wigan was on Sky we’d always be watching it – myself and Paul Stridgeon, strength and conditioning head coach at Wasps as he’s also from Wigan. Obviously, Wigan is absolutely through my bones.”
Edwards acknowledged he may be taking a risk after speaking to some people but the Wigan Hall of Famer is prepared to take it and is looking forward to working with Chairman and Owner Ian Lenagan.
“My family are obviously very delighted that I’m coming home,” he said.
“Some people think I’m taking a risk. I’ve got a pretty established career in rugby union and would probably be full time employed for the next 10 to 15 years so people think I’m taking a risk but it’s a risk I’m prepared to take because this is a special place.
“Rugby League at the moment doesn’t have a great reputation as regards to sticking with coaches for over a period of time. In rugby union every team has five or six coaches, there’s three different leagues - there’s Top 14, the English Premiership and a Celtic League so there’s a lot more jobs in rugby union and it’s a bigger risk take for me to come back to rugby league but I’m prepared to take it and in particular I want to work alongside Ian.”
Edwards also had some kinds words for Lam, as he revealed he will start planning for when he takes over in 2020.
He said: “I was a huge fan of Adrian as a player. I had retired by that stage and I admired him greatly and I’m sure he’s an equally exceptional coach.
“I’ll be watching training sessions and meetings on the internet with the analysts. I’m sure I’ll pop in and discuss things about strength and conditioning and long-term projects for up and coming young players and how we develop them physically and skill wise.”