Shaun Edwards delighted to see Welshmen fuelling Wigan's success
8:02am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Sport
WIGAN great Shaun Edwards is delighted to see the Cherry and Whites profiting from a Welsh influence, writes Chris Kirwan.
The Challenge Cup holders will look to secure a double when they take on Warrington in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday.
And at the fore of the Warriors' effort at Old Trafford will be props Ben Flower and Gil Dudson, from Abertridwr and Abergavenny respectively, while dual-code international Iestyn Harris will be monitoring the action from the stands in his role as assistant coach.
With Andy Powell, Rhodri Lloyd and Jordan James also on the clubs' books there is a growing Welsh influence at the DW Stadium, much to the delight of Edwards, defence coach for the national union side.
"I've seen them a few times recently and they had plenty of Welsh lads playing," said Edwards, who made 452 appearances for his hometown club between 1983 and 1997.
"That just goes to show that Wales breeds good rugby players, whether league or union. It's a hotbed of talent and people just like picking the ball up and running with it.
"I was brought up with both codes and I think south Wales is just like Wigan in that people have a passion and enthusiasm for the game.
"It's great to see fellas like Ben Flower doing well – he's a tough kid who won't take a backward step, exactly what you need in league."
After lifting the Challenge Cup by beating Hull at Wembley, Wigan go in search of the double against Warrington at Old Trafford.
Another Welshman, Lee Briers, will be pulling the strings for the Wolves but Edwards believes his former club have the big-game temperament, unlike in 2012 when they lost to Leeds in both the Challenge Cup and playoff semi-finals.
"Wigan have every chance," said Edwards. "They've peaked at the right time and have won the big games whereas they fell down last year after consistently being the best team."
- Edwards was speaking at the announcement of Wooden Spoon, the children's charity of rugby, as the official charity partner for Rugby League World Cup 2013. To find out more about the charity visit woodenspoon.com.
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