Edwards not interested in top job
February 19, 2011
Shaun Edwards made the calls for Wasps against Leicester but has no interest in a director of rugby role © Getty Images
Shaun Edwards says he has no desire to apply for the role of Wasps director of rugby after seeing his side lose 21-12 to Leicester in their Aviva Premiership clash at Welford Road.
Wasps parted company with rugby director Tony Hanks on Thursday following a run of just one win in six games in all competitions. Lawrence Dallaglio and Dean Ryan are among the names being linked with the Adams Park side and head coach Edwards, also part of the Wales coaching panel, says he has no desire to step up.
"I am very happy where I am," he said. "I have no desire to get involved in the contracts or hiring and firing of people. I am a coach and I enjoy being out on the training pitch with the players, so being a director of rugby has never been an ambition of mine.
"At the moment, with me taking over as the so-called 'boss' the only difference has been that I am picking the team and deciding when the subs go on so it has not taken up that much more of my time."
Today's defeat leaves Wasps, whose points came courtesy of four Dave Walder penalties, facing an uphill battle to secure a play-off berth after slipping to eighth in the table, but Edwards was pleased with the character shown by his men, particularly during the second half as they bravely held off wave after wave of Leicester attacks.
He said: "We showed the usual Wasps spirit, I felt like they deserved a bonus point for the doggedness of the players and our defence in our 22 in the second half was superb. But we need to score more points."
And Edwards also insisted that his target for the remainder of the season is simply to secure a top-six finish and a Heineken Cup spot.
"People forget we have only made the play-offs once in five years," he said. "We did it in 2008 when we won the title, we won the Heineken Cup in 2007, but we did not make the play-offs that season. Our objective is to qualify for the Heineken Cup and if we can get into the play-offs that would be great."
Wasps' efforts were not helped by England flanker Joe Worsley leaving the field with what looked like a neck injury in the first half, and Edwards said he would need to speak to the club's medical staff to ascertain the extent of the problem.
Leicester, meanwhile, look well on track to defend their Premiership title after racking up their eighth consecutive win in the league to go 10 points clear at the summit.
First-half tries from fly-half Jeremy Staunton and lock Steve Mafi, plus 11 points from the boot of former Wasp Staunton, sealed the spoils, and the winning margin could have been far greater were it not for a phenomenal defensive effort by the visitors.
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill was pleased to secure another win, although he was less than enamoured by the visitors' approach to the game.
"They came to kick the ball away and defend and they didn't really come to play," Cockerill said. "We found it hard against a belligerent team who were pretty negative all round. They worked hard but you get four points for grit and determination and we got them.
"It was a bit frustrating, we probably didn't manage the tenacity at the breakdown as we would have liked but we deserved the win, we had the greater share of the game, although it wasn't a great spectacle, but the only thing that matters is the result."
England flanker Tom Croft made his return from injury for the Tigers, playing the final 23 minutes after almost three months out with a shoulder injury.
Cockerill is understandably delighted to have the 2009 Lions tourist back, and is hoping to have him available for the trip to Sale on Friday. He said: "He was really good and we will look to get him some more time next week. He is world class and we don't know how long it will be before England come for him, but we will try and get as much out of him as we can."
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