Darren Edwards: Sevens men’s coach named Wales women interim head coach

Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards has previously coached at Dragons and Bath

Wales sevens men’s coach Darren Edwards has been named Wales women’s interim head coach for their rescheduled Six Nations match against Scotland.

Former Dragons coach Edwards has named a 35-strong squad for the game which will be played on 31 October.

It was postponed in March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Edwards has been placed in temporary charge while the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) searches for a permanent head coach to lead the side through until the 2021 World Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Edwards’ squad includes one uncapped player, forward Laura Bleehen, and the return of experienced forwards Shona Powell-Hughes and Caryl Thomas.

Siwan Lillicrap retains the captaincy she held throughout the championship and since November last year.

Wales’ sevens programme was suspended last month in response to the pandemic, leaving Edwards free to be redeployed by WRU performance director Ryan Jones.

“Darren has a wealth of experience,” said former Wales captain Jones.

“Ahead of the appointment of a new head coach, he is in an excellent position to add to the skillset of the other coaches who made progress in a number of areas last season.”

Edwards, who has also worked with Wales men’s under-20 side, said: “I enjoy challenges and I think we’re all pleased to be back on the rugby pitch again after such a long lay-off.

“I observed Wales women last year and I know they created a great environment on and off the pitch. Environment is key for me.

“The Scotland game provides a perfect focus to get us all back in the game 12 months out from the Rugby World Cup.”

Wales squad

Backs: Keira Bevan, Hannah Bluck, Alecs Donovan, Lleucu George, Hannah Jones, Jasmine Joyce, Courtney Keight, Kerin Lake, Ffion Lewis, Caitlin Lewis, Lisa Neumann, Kayleigh Powell, Paige Randall, Lauren Smyth, Elinor Snowsill, Megan Webb, Robyn Wilkins.

Forwards: Laura Bleehen, Alisha Butchers, Alex Callender, Gwen Crabb, Georgia Evans, Abbie Fleming, Cerys Hale, Cara Hope, Natalia John, Manon Johnes, Kelsey Jones, Molly Kelly, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap (capt), Robyn Lock, Shona Powell-Hughes, Gwenllian Pyrs, Caryl Thomas.

BBC News