France defence coach Shaun Edwards has revealed exactly why he turned down a role with England in the past.
“Only once to be fair,” revealed Edwards, who was speaking with Sir Clive Woodward for the Mail Online.
“Andy Robinson offered me the defence coach job in 2006 but it was a really difficult time personally. My younger brother Billy Joe had been killed in a car accident and, frankly, I was struggling a bit with the grieving process.
“What I did find, though, was that keeping busy, busy, busy really helped. At the time I had taken over from Warren as head coach at Wasps with Geech (Ian McGeechan) as the director of rugby. It was full-on every day.
“I talked things through with my Mum, who is a very wise lady, and she thought I wasn’t ready. And I wasn’t. I needed that 24-7 involvement with Wasps.
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“By the way, if there is anybody out there right now suffering a loss in these difficult times, my advice is try to stay busy. It helps even though the pain never goes.”
He now plans to help lead France to world domination starting with the upcoming 2021 Six Nations.
Shaun Edwards includes four England heroes in his dream-team
FB: Mils Muliaina (New Zealand) – This guy ticks most of the boxes. Made his Super Rugby debut in 2001, his international debut against England in 2003 and 92 Test caps later is getting better and better. Quick and incisive, a key part of the All Blacks’ counter-punching game.
LW: Jason Robinson (England) – “I’m biased but he is the only northern-hemisphere player to score a try while winning a World Cup final. Run close by Doug Howlett.”
OC: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – “Announced himself with a stunning hat-trick against France in 2000 and continues to shine.”
IC: Tana Umaga (New Zealand) – “One of the most liked and respected men in rugby – despite the incident with O’Driscoll in 2005.”
RW: Bryan Habana (South Africa) – “World Cup winner and a great club man who helped turn the Blue Bulls from a joke into the best province in the world but he was run close by Shane Williams, veteran of 75 Tests with Wales and his country’s leading try scorer.”