Daily Mail - Edwards: How I will give Wales back their passion and pride

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by Rugby News, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Rugby News

    Rugby News Guest

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  3. RC

    RC Guest

    Shaun Edwards went to work for Wales yesterday with a clear idea of what England can expect from the land of his great-grandfather at Twickenham next week.

    is renewal of the Wigan- Waikato alliance with Warren Gatland kicks off at a place where Wasps never lost any of the four major club finals under their joint stewardship and where Wales have never won in 20 years.

    Edwards said: 'The stats say we don't have a great chance but you never know. We'd like to think that, whatever happens, they will know they have been in a game.'

    The 41-year-old Lancastrian did not need to roll up the sleeves of his new tracksuit to underline the point.

    Wearing the Prince of Wales feathers was not quite what he had in mind when he enrolled at Wigan a quarter of a century ago but they provided the perfect insignia, considering how many feathers had been ruffled at Headquarters over his cross-border move.

    Edwards, proud to claim some Welsh mining heritage through his great-grandfather's migration from the South Wales coalfield to the north-west of England, prepared for his new job during a series of conversations with former players, starting with his namesake.

    'My first call was to Gareth Edwards,' he said. 'I needed to get into the mindset of the great teams of the Seventies. People always associate them with free-flowing rugby and great tries but the point they all made was that their success was built on defence.

    My job is to make their defence rock-solid and gain respect. You can't expect to win games if you are conceding 30 or 40 points. If I can get that defensive aspect back into their game, we will start to move up the world rankings.'

    If Wales fail, it will not be for any lack of passion from Edwards, impressive even by Welsh standards.

    'Rugby is my life, has been since I was three or four, probably earlier, but I can't remember,' he said. 'I used to take a rugby ball with me to bed when I was three.

    'Rugby is a working-class sport in Wales and that suits me down to the ground, coming from a working-class background. The emotions are exactly the same and I must say the national anthem really stirs the emotions. You know, if there were more than 24 hours a day to allow me to coach three times daily I would.

    'We want to make Wales hard to beat. I will probably start off with the traditional defence because of the limited time available. Later we will adopt the blitz defence. Some of the Ospreys players are doing something similar and doing it very well.'

    Given their track record at Wasps, the Edwards-Gatland reunion will make England all the more wary about Wales.

    Lawrence Dallaglio, who knows them best in his capacity as the club' s perennial captain, describes Gatland's capture of Edwards on a part-time basis as 'a masterstroke'.

    Dallaglio said: 'Warren's made quite an impact already, appointing a very good man as captain, Ryan Jones, and convincing one of the best No 7s, Martyn Williams, to come out of retirement. What you get with Warren is someone who's got a record of taking sides that are not necessarily performing well and making themsuccessful.

    'Both he and Shaun have been in rugby long enough to realise they have got a big job on their hands. I'd prefer it if they were coaching England.

    'Shaun is very passionate and emotional about his work. He's got so much more to offer than just expertise in defence.'

    Not surprisingly, Edwards disagreed with RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew's contention that he could not combine the twin demands of working for Wasps and Wales.

    He said: 'Rob is entitled to his opinion. I am confident I can handle it all, add something to the Welsh set-up as well as Wasps.

    'I was a far better coach when Warren left Wasps than I was before he arrived. Wasps will get the benefit of what I learn with Wales. If the Wasps players hadn't given their blessing to my working with Wales I wouldn't have come.'

    I thought this was a good article to read, so i moved it from rugby news to here.

    It's just nice to read someone (for once in a long time) mentioning positive things about Wales. I know he has to but just hearing about how he's going to use a basic defence system for now due to lack of time then move on to blitz defence.

    "Basic Defense" how good are those words to hear as a Welshman, eh?

    Someone employing tactics we've been needing for years? I'm not sure, but i feel i let out a sigh of relief after reading this article.

    Keeping things basic and working from there.

    I'm becoming happier with every day that passes at the appointment of Gatland and Edwards now.
  4. bobilycious

    bobilycious Guest

    I hope Wales can come back into form and start winning again because they have some real classy players. I have always quite like Wales. Is Shaun Edwards a good coach? I don't know anyting about him.
  5. Vambo

    Vambo Guest

    I had the pleasure of watching Shaun Edwards play for many years and the man has an unbeatable spirit. I've watched his coaching career with great interest and it comes as no surprise to me that he has made a success of it.
    It will take time but he will sort out the Welsh defence and instill a never give in mantra to the team.

    I named my lad Shaun.

    I hope that one day he comes home and coaches Wigan :)
  6. RC

    RC Guest

    I am always a little ignorant to rugby that goes on outside of my own country; not knowing as much as i do about my nation, so i'm left not knowing much about Shaun.
    He has a very successful coaching history and the fact that wasps want him to stay on with them when Wales aren't playing speaks volumes about how good and well respected he is.
    I hope he turns out to be valuable to us like Hoare was a few years ago.
  7. bobilycious

    bobilycious Guest

    Ok. Well it sounds like they have a solid set of coaches. I would love to watch the games but I don't think I can as I don't have sky but I will look around for highlights if i can.
  8. stormmaster1

    stormmaster1 Guest

    As a Tigers fan and an England fan i just wish he wasn't with both Waps and Wales. In recent years Wasps have beaten Leicester in big games through physicality and defence. Those are what Edwards, bring, they are what Wales lack. I can't think of a coach i'd like less to see working for my teams rivals.
  9. danny

    danny Guest

    Edwards coaching Wales is a massive loss for English rugby. He is just the sort of no nonsense guy they need. Hes a terrific motivator and a real student of defence. I think the first thing he and the new coaches need to sort out is the lack of professionalism/drinking culture which im told is still rife in the welsh game
  10. RC

    RC Guest

    You couln't be more correct...
  11. C A Iversen

    C A Iversen Guest

    Well, if they can abolish that excessive part of their team culture and allow this new coaching team to do what they want, then we'll hopefully stop seeing untapped potential and start seeing it fulfilled.
  12. sidestep

    sidestep Guest

    edwards mite be all what has been said about him but at the end of the day hes english .lets dont forget that .and would he really ****** if wales lost i think not.
  13. That's such an idiotic thing to say. He was out of his seat screaming at the Welsh forwards to keep it tight at the end of the match. English he may be, and I'm sure he would support his country against any other side, but the man has also showed he is a professional.

    I can't imagine there are many Welshmen as bitter as you at this moment in time.
  14. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    Feel like negative repping you! Edwards showd passion at the end of that game, during the game hec when Wales scored the tries I thought Edwards was going to wet himself!

    This bloke maybe English but my god he showed some passion today
  15. RC

    RC Guest

    I've never heard such absurdity.
    The man was clearly happy when we won, and i very much doubt that had England won he would have been hiding a sneaky smile for his home nation.
    The man has such a brilliant reputation to uphold and he's a very proud man, he would much rather see England lose than for the Welsh to lose.
    I'm bloody proud to be welsh, but if my job was to coach the English to beat the Wales (given that I feel the same as Shaun Edwards would (he loves his job and is very good at it)) then i would do everything in my power to see England to victory.
    How could he expect respect from his peers...how could he expect to stay in the job, if he felt any inclination towards what you're suggesting.

    That is such a stupid comment you just made!
  16. Macsen

    Macsen Guest

    It's one thing to be a fan but it's Edwards' job to make sure Wales win. That great moment whe he was marching down the steps yelling orders should have removed all doubt, if there was any.

    And anyway his name suggests he's descended from some welsh people at least (where he gets his talent for rugby I'm sure :p ).
  17. Gay-Guy

    Gay-Guy Guest

    Edwards has got his priority correct. Defence is where it is at. Defence wins games. You kill a teams spirit when you nulfy their attack. When you finally get the ball and attack back they have lost a bit of their spirt as they feel like they have nothing to look forward to when they win back the ball.

    Defence killed NZ. Just ask France....they were a very plain attacking team in 2007 who turned up for one night and decided to defend for their lives.

    Defence was NZ's greatest strength at the end of 2004 then also 2005 and 2006 before dropping it for 2007. If Portugal could cross the NZ line then that sparks of some serious problem somewhere. In 2007 NZ forgot how to drive an attacking team backwards.

    Edwards is also honest enough to know that he can't get overnight miracles. He is only going to attempt the Blitz defence later on after he feels the team is comfortable with its traditional defence. He knows it takes time and he sems patient enough to give it its due time.

    Gatland is also an exponent of the Blitz defence and is sadly missed by NZ rugby as he took this S.A defensive pattern and had ideas on working it further when he was with Waikato. He should have been promoted to the Chiefs coaching position as DEFENCE is what the Chiefs need. Instead NZ lost him and this defensive pattern overseas. Henry had a bit of an understanding of the pattern but didn't explore it fully as an option for the AB's. If Gatland had stayed in NZ and taken the Chiefs position over Foster...I am sure the Chiefs would have strangled a lot of teams and made it to the finals with their counter attacking amd finishing. Henry would have taken some of Gatlands defensive style to incorproate in the AB's...the rest would have been history. Instead NZ lost him overseas. I sense Wales will be a real force within two years and more than a RWC threat in 2011 than Ireland were meant to be last year.

    I would even sugget that Wales under Gatland and Edwards in 3 years may gain a victory over the All Blacks. If they strangle the NZ attack they will have the platform and confidence to launch their own attack and stamp their imprint on the game....as France did....and England has...and Australia and South Africa still do occasionally.

    The key will be whether the Welsh players develop that mentality to choke the opposition and show no sign of mercy. The Welsh team needs to believe and then eventually accept that they are no longer just filling in the gaps in world rugby. They need to believe that Colin Charvis can smash Jerry Collins anytime in the past, present and when they are old men. That Shanklin can suffocate Muliaina. That Henson can also carry like a suitcase Toeava. That Shane Williams can ragdoll Sivivatu backwards and into touch. Welsh players need to see their jersey as red dragons that kill, burn and lay waste to anything that comes their way until all that is left is the scorched earth with "The AB Dream Died Here" written on the ground.

    I think that Edwards made a masterstroke by contacting Gareth Edwards and Co and asking what was the secret to their success. Instead of just reading history book and believing that Welsh rugby in the 70's was all out attack he instead went to ask the actual players who told him it was built on defence! Edwards knows what he wants and knows the right way to find it.
  18. In regards to Edwards' allegiance, I am not worried, like it has been said already, he is a professional, plus i think other factors came in to play: His allegiance to Gatland, not being offered anything decent by England (the Saxons job was a pathetic gesture).
    I trust him and i like him, and like he has hinted at, he has more in common with the Welsh than a bunch of pimms drinking car park brunching toffs (alright so the last one is probably ******** and wishful thinking :) )
  19. paridjanian

    paridjanian Guest

    that's pretty narrow minded, supporting a team who you've been training I think rules out any country factor. You can't buy that kind of pride or passion
  20. madwelshy

    madwelshy Guest

    Well if they both bring order to the welshy team as they did in the six nations i think alot more team other than england will be wairy of wales too. also regards to allegiances i think his allegiance is too the job & not so to country did you see him naffed off when wales beat england ...in six nations?
  21. stormmaster1

    stormmaster1 Guest

    while there is always alot of pride in representing your country, in any tight knit team the players and coaches do the hard work for each other first and foremost. Edwards always appears central to that and he simply hates losing. I think those two aspects make up for being of a different nationality.
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