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Rugby: Woodward rues France capture of defence coach Edwards

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By Reuters
Rugby: Woodward rues France capture of defence coach Edwards
FILE PHOTO: Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards poses for photographers during a media conference in Auckand October 11, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings   -   Copyright  Mike Hutchings(Reuters)

(Reuters) – England should have moved “heaven and earth” to get Shaun Edwards onboard and France’s capture of the former Wales defence coach has made them favourites to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Clive Woodward has said.

Edwards chose not to sign a new contract with Wales in May after 12 years with the team and was unveiled as a member of newly appointed France coach Fabien Galthie’s backroom staff this week.

Galthie replaced Jacques Brunel, who stepped down after Wales beat France 20-19 in their World Cup quarter-final in Japan last month.

“Well done FranceRugby re Shaun Edwards ... a real game changer for them - France will be the team to beat in 4 years time," Woodward, who coached England to World Cup glory in 2003, said on Twitter.</p> <p>Edwards helped Wales win four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, and Woodward said England rugby had missed a trick by not getting him.</p> <p>"Have never understood why EnglandRugby did not move heaven and earth to get Shaun to Twickenham, another English coach working with our greatest rivals ?!” Woodward added.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)