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Edwards to stay on as Wales defense coach

Updated: November 13, 2011, 15:15

CARDIFF, Wales(AP) Shaun Edwards will remain as Wales defense coach for at least the next four years after signing a new contract with the Welsh Rugby Union on Sunday.

Edwards' previous contract with Wales expired at the end of the World Cup in New Zealand and after quitting as head coach of English club London Wasps, he was heavily linked with a job with England's coaching staff.

However, the former Britain rugby league player agreed a new deal with the WRU following negotiations this weekend.

"I am extremely pleased to be able to announce we have secured his services for the WRU up to and including the Rugby World Cup in 2015,'' said chief executive Roger Lewis, who revealed that he opened talks with Edwards during the World Cup.

Wales lost 9-8 to France in the semifinals after being reduced to 14 men in the first half following captain Sam Warburton's sending-off for an illegal tackle.

Edwards has forged a strong reputation as a coach since his cross-code switch to the 15-man game in 2001, and has been assistant to head coach Warren Gatland with Wales since 2008. The pair previously worked in unison in a trophy-laden spell at Wasps.

"The Welsh rugby public ... can look forward to the next four years with great anticipation,'' Lewis said.

Under the terms of his new contract, Edwards can be released one day a week to work with an English Premiership club.

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