Shaun Edwards reveals if he would come back to Wales following Warren Gatland's return to top job

Shaun Edwards was pivotal in creating a golden era for Welsh rugby, having first worked with Gatland at Wasps in the early 2000s Credit: PA

Warren Gatland is a name that transcends the sport of rugby and the Welsh public will welcome him back with open arms.

That's the view of the returning Wales head coach's former right-hand man Shaun Edwards.

The pair masterminded a golden era of Welsh rugby, with Edwards manufacturing the water-tight defence on which four Six Nations titles in 12 years were built.

Edwards and Gatland go back decades, having worked together at Wasps in the early 2000s.

And the Englishman is pleased to see his former boss returning to the Welsh hot seat.

"I think it's a great decision from him and I'm sure the Welsh people will accept him back with open arms," Edwards told ITV Wales.

"He's a proven winner in the past and I'm sure that he'll be very determined to do that again in the future.

"If he can get all of his experienced players fit and available to play, like Dan Biggar etc, then Wales, particularly in the Six Nations, will be a huge threat.

"I think it's great for the game of rugby because in any sport, you want big names. There is absolutely no doubt that people who don't even watch rugby know who Warren Gatland is.

"That's fantastic for the game, for growing the game."

Gatland will be required to have an instant impact on the side, who won just three out of 12 Test matches in 2022.

The Kiwi comes back to Wales just 10 months out from the next Rugby World Cup and will be required to hit the ground running.

His first game in charge will be against Ireland in the Six Nations opener on February 4.

Shaun Edwards has a contract with France until after the 2027 World Cup but has not ruled out a return to Wales in the future Credit: PA

When asked how the players will react to Gatland's return, Edwards said: "It'll be positive and I think there will be a little bit of a positive fear factor as well, in the fact that you're being coached by a guy whose name trascends the sport, one of Wales' greatest ever coaches and he'll be determined to continue that this time."

There are already suggestions Gatland wants his former attack coach Rob Howley to return to the setup with him.

Fans in Wales, who remember Edwards as fondly as they do Gatland, are now keen to see if the defence guru could also be coming back.

"My situation is that I've re-signed with France until after the 2027 World Cup. I'm pretty settled here but, in the future, who knows," he said.

"It would be nice to see the Welsh people cheering the bus going into the stadium, it's very inspiring.

"But for the next four or five years I'm fully committed to the French team. I think there will be more interest in the Six Nations coming up with Warren back in charge of Wales because he's a household name and you need those names to sell your game."