Aviva Premiership Rugby club London Irish have announced today that Wales's defence coach, Shaun Edwards will be joining the London Irish coaching team.
Edwards will start work after the Wales tour to Australia. Brian Smith also announced today that he will be stepping back up to a more hands on coaching role to run the teamís attack.
Edwards enjoyed a glittering playing career in rugby league representing Wigan on 467 occasions scoring 1,140 points. He won the Challenge Cup nine times with the Club and eight Championship titles.
He was the youngest player to play in a Challenge Cup final and the youngest to be capped by Great Britain. He played 36 times for Great Britain, scoring 16 tries, and played in the 1992 and 1995 World Cups with England.
Edwards started his rugby union coaching career at London Wasps in 2002 as backs coach and became an integral part of the coaching team that guided the Club through one of its most successful periods.
Wasps won Premiership titles in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and the Heineken Cup in 2004 and 2007, the latter he won as the Club's Head Coach.
In 2008 Shaun joined former Wasps colleague, Warren Gatland, as Defence Coach for the Welsh national side. Wales have since won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2008 and 2012 as well as finishing fourth in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In 2009 he was part of Ian McGeechanís British and Irish Lions coaching team for the tour of South Africa.
Brian Smith said: "Shaun is a world-class coach and he has been responsible for introducing a defensive system that has changed the shape of the modern game, consistently producing water tight defences in the Premiership, Six Nations, Lionís tours and Rugby World Cups. He is a tough, hard-nosed coach, who I am confident will, alongside me, help to bring out the very best in the London Irish squad.
"We will have a strategy in place for next season to slash the numbers of points we concede in the Aviva Premiership. If we can do that then, this time next year, we can be a top four team and two games away from silverware."
Shaun Edwards said: "Iím excited at the opportunity of being involved in a Premiership Club set up again. London Irish has some fantastic players who I am looking forward to working with."
"The squad has put in some great performances this season and have been unlucky not to come away with more wins. I want to work with the team to see how we can then turn those frustrating last minute defeats into victories."
London Irish has also confirmed today that it is looking to appoint a new forwards coach with an announcement expected shortly.