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Welsh double act could break up

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Sportal.co.nz     27 Dec 2012     Getty Images

The pair have been a successful combination at the helm for Wales since Gatland took the job in 2007. But for the Lions tour, head coach Gatland opted for England's Andy Farrell as his defence coach.

While Welsh authorities have suggested there was no rift between the pair Shaun Edwards was known to be disappointed that he wouldn't continue the role he enjoyed on the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.

Gareth Edwards told walesonline.co.uk: "I don't know whether or not Warren had discussed his decision with Shaun and explained the reasons why he was not going with the Lions.

"It's a hard one for Shaun – there's no doubt about that and he might think it's time for a chance.

"If the relationship is torn or ended it might be better if they parted company. That's something only Shaun and Warren know," he said.

The former halfback regarded as one of the finest ever to play in the position said Gatland and Edwards were one of the great double acts in the game.

"They have been like Clough and Taylor, very strong and united.

"I was surprised that Shaun isn't going with the Lions. You have to ask why? It looks like a slap in the face. Maybe, it's one of those occasions where it's not straightforward.

"Going to Australia would have appealed to Shaun, as a former rugby league guy. It's where he would have been of world standing," he said.

At the same time Edwards said those around Gatland with the Lions had the goods to be successful.

"Farrell has got good credentials. Farrell and Graham Rowntree, the other English coach appointed by Warren, will know what makes the English players tick.

"The Lions are four teams coming together as one and the more information you have the better you are going to be," he said.