Head coach Shaun Edwards agrees deal to leave Wasps

Shaun Edwards
Former rugby league scrum-half Edwards joined Wasps in 2001

Head coach Shaun Edwards has reached an agreement to leave Wasps after 10 years at the Premiership club.

Director of rugby Dai Young and his assistant Paul Turner will take control at the club as Edwards, 45, pursues other opportunities in the game.

"I will always have fond memories of my time with Wasps and feel ready and excited for some new challenges ahead of me," said Edwards.

Wasps chief Chris Thomas insisted that finances were not behind Edwards' exit.

It is understood that the Wycombe-based side want to cut their wage bill after owner Steve Hayes put the club up for sale last month, but Thomas said the former Great Britain rugby league player's departure was "a decision solely based on what is best for both parties with Shaun keen to test himself in a new environment."

Since January 2008 Edwards had combined his work at Wasps with a role as Wales' defence coach.

His contract with Wales ended after the recent World Cup in New Zealand and he is yet to agree an extension.

Edwards' availability will undoubtedly increase speculation about a possible role in the England set-up, with head coach Martin Johnson and his staff yet to make a decision on their futures.

"Now is the right time for him to go on and continue to develop himself as a coach in another environment," said Wasps director and former England international Lawrence Dallaglio.

"We have no doubt that Shaun's reputation, greatly enhanced by his work with Wales at the recent World Cup, will present him with many opportunities at the top level of the sport."

Speaking in October, Edwards said: "There is a pretty good chance I will be unconnected, both at club and international level, when I get back [from the World Cup].

"Maybe it is time for me to go on to other challenges."

The former Wigan star, who also played for the Bradford Bulls and London Broncos during a stellar rugby league career, joined Wasps as backs coach in 2001 and took over as head coach from current Wales boss Warren Gatland in 2005.

During Edwards' time at the club, Wasps won the Premiership on four occasions, as well as lifting the Heineken Cup in 2004 and 2007.

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