Edwards considered calling it a day
March 18, 2013
Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley and defence coach Shaun Edwards delight in their side's Six Nations triumph © Getty Images
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards has revealed he almost quit the game after missing out on a place in the British & Irish Lions' coaching team for this year's tour to Australia.
Edwards, the mastermind behind the water-tight defence that laid the foundation for his side's stunning Six Nations triumph, was surprisingly overlooked by Lions boss Warren Gatland despite their long and fruitful working relationship with Wasps, Wales and the Lions.
Gatland opted for England assistant coach Andy Farrell as his defensive specialist but Edwards responded to the disappointment by inspiring Wales to new heights with their fourth Six Nations title in nine years built on a record-breaking run of 357 minutes without conceding a try.
"I've had plenty of highs in my professional life - 42 medals as a player, 11 trophies in 12 years as a coach - but the time that tested me most was the three days after discovering I wasn't going to be part of the Lions coaching squad this summer," Edwards wrote in The Guardian.
"Whereas 2009 with the Lions in South Africa was one of the big highs, hearing I was not going to be part of the set-up in Australia made me want to chuck the whole lot in. There were ideas of turning my back on union, going back to league, possibly even leaving the country to re-learn my trade as an assistant coach with the ARL.
"As I say, it took 72 hours to banish those ideas and on Saturday, among the Welsh players and fellow coaching staff, I understood why I did. They've been great to me, treating me as one of their own and it's a lucky man who can be part of such a set up.
"There are days that wipe the slate clean, banish hurt and make you glad to have stuck the course. Saturday was one of them. Wales 30, England 3 was a great performance not just because of the remarkable scoreline, but because it came from a team that had come through tough times together, showed remarkable resilience in the face of some big knocks over the previous 18 months."
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