Edwards eyeing 2017 Lions role

Shaun Edwards and Ian McGeechan on the 2009 Lions tour in South Africa

Shaun Edwards and Ian McGeechan on the 2009 Lions tour in South Africa

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards hopes to be among the coaches who take the 2017 British and Irish Lions to New Zealand.

He was an assistant to Ian McGeechan on the 2009 2-1 series defeat to South Africa.

Four years later his Wales boss Warren Gatland hired then-England defence coach Andy Farrell for the 2-1 Lions win against Australia.

“I would be interested in going on another Lions tour,” said Edwards.

“Every Lions tour is special, but when you are playing the world champions, it is doubly so.”

After leaving his England role following their 2015 World Cup flop, Farrell has become Ireland and Munster defence coach.

New England coach Eddie Jones has backed Gatland to again be in charge of the Lions with Ireland’s Joe Schmidt seen as his biggest rival for thr post.

Edwards has recently committed his future to Wales until after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Warren Gatland (R) chose Andy Farrell to guide the 2013 Lions defence in Australia

The former Great Britain rugby league star said: “If anyone offers you a contract, then they are showing faith in you.

“To offer a four-year deal as well, it shows a lot of faith in me to do the job.

“I am very happy here. I like the way we work, and I like the people I work with. I respect the players I coach – they are very coachable.”

Wales travel to Dublin to face Ireland in their 2015 Six Nations opener on Sunday 7 February.

Edwards hopes Wales can immediately regain the sort of form that saw them run South Africa close in the World Cup quarter-finals.

“The first thing we have got to do is try to get back to the level we finished at the World Cup [in October], when we were within a few points of South Africa,” said Edwards.

“If we can get back to that, then we are in with a chance.”

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