Shaun Edwards has denied using a rude hand gesture while celebrating Wales’ third try to seal their win over Ireland in the Six Nations on Friday night.
The defence coach was disappointed when social media had interpreted him punching the air after Jamie Roberts’ try as a middle finger salute to the Irish.
Ireland failed to score a try of their own during the defeat as Edwards masterminded a defensive shut out that he branded the best performance since he began his role back in 2008.
When asked about the reaction to his questionable hand signal, Edwards replied: “I was very disappointed at that. I couldn’t believe why so many people looked at that.
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“There was nothing in that whatsoever. It was just a harmless hand gesture.
“I was throwing a punch in the air and people are talking about that rather than an incredible defensive performance where Ireland were kept try-less for the first time for four years.
“I’m a child of the 1990s and if you are going to say something rude you stick two fingers up and not one. It’s true though, Agincourt, two fingers isn’t it?”
Wales face France in Paris on the weekend in their final Six Nations game after avoiding a third straight defeat – which would have been their worst record in 10 years.
The Welsh looked as good as they have this year at the Principality Stadium as George North got a confidence-boosting double, while Wales’ rearguard held firm.
And Edwards has urged Wales to push on and seize the momentum they’ve generated, with it still possible they could finish second in the table again.
“It [the defensive performance] was the best to be honest because of the standard of the opponent we have.
“They have been averaging 30-odd points a game recently and I didn’t think it was possible to keep a top four ranked team to single digit points.
“Sometimes I set the boys a target, 19-21 points, because I think the attack can cover it but I never in my wildest dreams would have thought nine points against Ireland. But the boys did it.
“Our front-line defence was ferocious at times. The double-hitting by our back-rowers was absolutely outstanding and our tight five really put on because, with Gethin Jenkins not being available for us, we have done a lot of work with the props and hookers trying to get in on the ball almost like a back-rower.
“Their efforts after the tackle has been made has just gone up and up. Rob Evans’ was really high at the weekend.
“For me as a coach and them as players, it shows when we work on something really hard we can improve at it.”