Gatland keen to keep Edwards

Date published: October 30 2015

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Wales will try to keep their whole coaching staff together including defence coach Shaun Edwards after a review of their Rugby World Cup.

A review of the World Cup and the future strategic and operational plans for the Wales national team has been completed by head coach, Warren Gatland, and his senior management staff.

The review spanned fitness and conditioning, medical care, analysis, support staff and coaching with input from all the current personnel.

At the conclusion of the review Gatland has confirmed his full confidence in the current management personnel and indicated his intention to maintain the present coaching team in full.

Therefore the head coach is managing discussions internally aimed at ensuring all the current coaches remain in place with Wales.

"We have had an extremely thorough review and I have subsequently spoken to all the coaches ideally wanting them to stay in place until at least 2019," said Gatland.

"I am aware that as a group and as individuals they have all developed strongly over recent years and can accurately be described as world class. I want Wales to continue to benefit from that level of skill and excellence in the years ahead.

"We have already been through a significant change with the departure of our head of physical performance, Adam Beard, shortly before the Rugby World Cup, but Paul Stridgeon has proved an excellent replacement.

"It is very important to balance the need to invigorate and refresh any coaching environment with the desire to achieve continuity within a successful group.

"There has been some unhelpful speculation regarding the future of individuals within the coaching team and I would therefore ask for privacy and the process to be respected."

Edwards' contract runs out next month and his future has been the subject of much speculation with a number of teams keen to employ his services, including England.

It is also not clear what Stridgeon's status will be, given that he is still on the books at European champions Toulon, who had agreed to him helping Wales during the World Cup.

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