The former rugby league star joined the French coaching team in 2020

Shaun Edwards: Ten things you should know about the France defence coach

Shaun Edwards became France’s defence coach in 2020 and he was previously successful in the same role at Wales. Plus, he had a successful player career in rugby league…

Ten things you should know about Shaun Edwards

1. Shaun Edwards was born on 17 October 1966 in Wigan, England.

He started out in rugby as a league player and competed for Wigan, Balmain Tigers, London Broncos, Bradford Bulls as well as representing Great Britain and England.

2. He signed for Wigan on his 17th birthday for £35,000, a record at the time for a schoolboy player.

3. During a Great Britain tour in 1984, Edwards taped over the British Coal logo in support of the miners’ strike.

4. He started coaching in 2001 at Wasps as their defence and backs coach. He then took up the defence coach position at Wales when Warren Gatland took over in late 2007 and now holds the same role in the France team.

5. Edwards coached the British & Irish Lions in a defence role on their 2009 tour of South Africa.

6. He has a son with the singer and his ex-partner Heather Smalls while he has two daughters with current partner Maggie.

7. He comes from a family of rugby stars. His father Jackie played for Warrington, his younger brother Billy Joe played for Wigan and his son James has been part of Wasps’ academy.

8. Edwards’s younger brother Billy Joe died in a car crash in 2003 at the age of 19.

9. Edwards has spoken of how his Catholic faith has given him strength during his career.

10. He is a patron for mental health charity LooseHeadz.

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