Frustrating season for Edwards

Lions defence coach Shaun Edwards has described his frustration with how his 2008/09 ended. [more]

Frustrating season for Edwards

Lions defence coach Shaun Edwards has described his frustration with how his 2008/09 ended.

The London Wasps and Wales coach into last season’s campaign on the back of a Guinness Premiership and Grand Slam triumph but finished the rugby year with no silverware to his name.

The ultimate honour of coaching the Lions on their 10-match tour of South Africa was the fulfillment of a lengthy ambition but the end result again brought disappointment.

“Last season was a frustrating one for me, Wales and the Lions,” Edwards told the Western Mail.

“It was a season of being a brave loser. We could have won the Six Nations with Wales and, with the Lions, people have said we were unfortunate not to win the Test series.

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“But I like being a brave winner, not a loser.”

Once this Sunday’s domestic clash with Leeds Carnegie is out of the way, Edwards’ attentions will turn to banishing last season’s disappointments on the international scene as Wales prepare for the forthcoming autumn Tests.

Wales take on New Zealand, Samoa, Argentina and Australia on successive weekends from November 7 until 28 and Edwards is desperate to return to winning ways.

“The All Blacks are the only team I have not beaten so far in my coaching career and it’s been a long time since the Welsh nation has celebrated a victory drink over them,” added the former Wigan rugby league star.

“We are working hard to succeed. We should make anybody who says we can’t beat New Zealand watch the first half of last year’s Test with them.”

“There’s not doubt it’s a very strong New Zealand team, but certain mistakes at critical times last year meant we did not nail our chances.

“What’s going to be interesting is how the changes in the New Zealand coaching set-up with coaches having slightly different responsibilities will impact on them.

“But, whatever tactics New Zealand come to Cardiff with, they are going to be an absolutely world-class team.”

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