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Shaun Edwards hits back at critics of Warren Gatland

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Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland

SPORTSFILE

Shaun Edwards has hit back angrily at the suggestion that Wales head coach Warren Gatland (below) is under pressure due to his dismal record against the southern hemisphere heavyweights.

Wales' 34-16 defeat to world champions New Zealand three days ago was their 26th in 27 games at the hands of either the All Blacks, Australia or South Africa since Gatland took charge seven years ago.

The solitary success during that period was a 21-18 victory over Australia in November 2008, although Wales have also won three Six Nations titles, claimed two Grand Slams and reached a World Cup semi-final under Gatland.

It led to Gatland being asked about pressure during a television interview immediately after New Zealand's Millennium Stadium triumph.

And when the subject was raised during Wales defence coach Edwards' Test week press conference, he said: "What do you mean 'under pressure?'

"Being a Test match rugby coach, every game has got pressure. I don't understand what you mean. Do you mean do you think he is going to get sacked?

"If you are coaching a Sunday League team you are under pressure to win a game. I don't understand what you are trying to get at."

Then in response to a question that winning 27 games means you are under less pressure than losing 27, Edwards said: "So what about if you win three Six Nations?"

And when told that was a good answer, he added: "It is a good answer. Next question."

Gatland is under contract with Wales until 2019, a deal that covers the next two World Cup campaigns.

Kuridrani out

Australia outside centre Tevita Kuridrani will miss the clash with England at Twickenham due to an ankle injury.

The 23-year-old suffered the injury during the 26-23 defeat against Ireland in Dublin and his absence will be a blow for Australia, as the centre has scored three tries in his last six games.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika could move Adam Ashley-Cooper from the wing to plug the gap or could recall Kurtley Beale to his starting line-up.

Australia have only won one of their three games this autumn, a 33-28 victory over Wales. They were defeated 29-26 by France before losing to Ireland last weekend.


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