Edwards stands by Howley

Date published: November 21 2016

Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards has come to the defence of Rob Howley after their narrow win over Japan at the Principality Stadium.

Saturday’s 33-30 victory saw Sam Davies fire over a late drop-goal as the Welsh backed up a win over Argentina in the previous weekend.

The scars though still remain from a heavy loss to Australia but when speaking to the media Edwards admits they don’t listen to their critics.

“You know when you are in this position as a national coach, you have to block everything out,” the defence coach revealed on Monday to the gathered reporters. “You continue doing your job, what you are trying to do.

“Rob has only been in one Six Nations [when Gatland was a similar sabbatical ahead of the 2013 Lions tour] and he has won it. He has a 100 percent winning record, he is an excellent coach with his attention to detail.”

Next up for Wales is a clash with South Africa, who are arguably under more pressure than their hosts after losing to England and Italy in recent games. Edwards though says the pressure is also very much on his side.

“The success or relative failure [of November] will depend on whether we win on Saturday,” he said.

“It’s been said in the past we’ve played Australia many times and lost by one point. We’ve played fantastic, but we’ve lost. It’s all about winning and we’ve won two tight games.

“Have we played as well as wanted to on Saturday? No, we didn’t. But we’re going into a cup final this week against a team ranked higher than us and they’ve got what we want, which is that fourth ranked position.”