Shaun Edwards Says High-profile Union Players Interested in League Switch

There are big-name union players who would like to switch codes to union in “three or four years’ time”, according to Shaun Edwards.

The Wales defence coach, who announced this week that he will take up the reigns as coach of Super League’s Wigan Warriors after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was talking to Sky Sports on their Golden Point Special show.

He said: “I’ve had spoken to a couple of players – very high-profile players – in the last 24 hours, and they’ve put an interest about coming to rugby league in about three or four years’ time. I won’t tell you who they are, but they’re very, very high profile.”

Related: Edwards to return to Wigan Warriors

Edwards knows all about success in Wigan. Through 14 years at the club, where he played full-back, stand-off and scrum-half, he won eight league titles and nine Challenge Cups.

Explaining what Wigan need to do to become a lightning rod for talent, he said: “We have to make Wigan a place where people enjoy playing. A little bit like Saracens in rugby union.

“People go to Saracens for probably less money than they go to somewhere else, because they know they’re going to an environment where number one they have fun, number two they become better players, and number three they are usually challenging for honours. That’s what we need to create here.”

Shaun Edwards

Serial winner: Shaun Edwards after a sixth successive Challenge Cup win for Wigan

Reiterating what he told the press when it was announced that he would be taking up the role in Wigan, Edwards told the host Brian Carney (himself a dual-code rugby player): “I’ll be straight with you, I took a risk.

“I’m pretty well thought of in rugby union, and maybe for the next ten or 15 years I’d have had some form of employment – I wouldn’t say guaranteed but there’s a lot of competitions in rugby union and each team has five or six coaches.

“There’s the Celtic league (Pro14), there’s the Top 14 – I speak a bit of French – I’ve obviously won four Premierships and there’s Super Rugby. So there’s a lot of employment in rugby union, but there was still a burning desire in my soul somewhere to challenge for rugby league titles.”

The question remains: Which players are interested in the switch and can they thrive?

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