- England U20 Assistant Coach Diccon Edwards to take reins at Leeds
- Timing right for me as a coach – Edwards
Photo: Getty Images
England Under 20 Assistant Coach Diccon Edwards is to return to Leeds Carnegie after being named as the club's new head coach for next season
Edwards made 76 appearances for the club in four seasons before joining the backroom staff in 2006, guiding the aside's academy to the Yorkshire Cup.
Having helped develop the careers of a number of the graduates through the academy system at Headingley, the 38-year-old joined the RFU last summer.
Edwards has acted as the assistant to U20 Head Coach Rob Hunter this year, helping the side to a 6 Nations Grand Slam
Edwards, though, will now return to Leeds following this month's IRB Junior World Championship in Italy.
Edwards, who also played for Wakefield, Leicester, Otley and Castleford RL, said: "I would like to thank Rob Andrew, Stuart Lancaster [Head of Elite Player Development], Kevin Bowring [Head of Elite Coach Development] and everyone at the RFU for the opportunity to work within a world-class organisation for the past year.
Grand Slam highlight for Edwards
"I feel that I have developed a great deal in the last 12 months and helping the England U20 achieve a Grand Slam this season was a particular highlight for me.
"However, the chance to come back to my club and help return us to the top flight was too good to resist and I feel the timing is right for me as a coach. Having been part of the club as a player and coach for nearly 15 years, it has been disappointing to see the side relegated last season.
"We now have the chance of a fresh start and the opportunity to build a team that the supporters and the Yorkshire public can be proud of. As a club we always build our strengths around our core values and we will be looking to get back to those.
"I am also excited to be working with our young players again. Of the current first team squad, half of them came through the academy during my time there and our job as coaches is to make sure that they maximize their potential this season."
Edwards replaces Neil Back at Carnegie after the World Cup winner quit in the aftermath of their relegation from the Aviva Premiership. And Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington believes Edwards can see the club bounce back to the top-flight at the first attempt.
Hetherington said: "Diccon has a tremendous track record of developing talented players and also knows the National Leagues from his time as head coach at Otley.
"The board were impressed by his passion for club and his determination to get us back into the Aviva Premiership at the earliest possible opportunity and that is our goal for next season."