Dawson sings Edwards’ praises

Former England scrumhalf Matt Dawson says Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards is “the best coach in the world.”

Dawson, who played under Edwards at Wasps, said his recruitment was a massive coup, adding that it was a “crime” for England to lose him.

“With Warren [Gatland - head coach] and Shaun you get defence, structure, discipline and, ultimately, you will get trophies,” Dawson told the bbcsport.co.uk. “I cannot emphasise enough to the Welsh public what a gem they have there.”

“I was disappointed the RFU could not find a relevant opportunity for Shaun. In my view, and in a lot of other people’s view, he is possibly the best rugby coach in the world. That’s not something I say lightly and to see that we’ve let him go over the border is an absolute crime. To see Shaun Edwards go to Wales was incredible.

Dawson also showered praise on the other members of the Wales coaching staff.

“To join him with Warren and Rob Howley – my goodness me, if the Welsh team can’t play with that coaching talent behind them then it’s going to be an awful long time before they win the Six Nations again.”

South Africa face Wales in their opening incoming tour match in June and Edwards has said that he was targeting the two-Test series as the time to roll out their refined rush defence system. Wales tried to employ a similar system throughout 2007 with limited effect.

If Dawson’s opinion is to be taken seriously then the Springboks will have to be on point to douse the Dragons’ fire.