Former England coach Steve McNamara is joining the Vodafone Warriors on a two-year contract as one of three NRL assistant coaches next season.
Yorkshireman McNamara (45) links up with new Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney after being an assistant coach at the Sydney Roosters the last three seasons.
“Steve has tremendous coaching credentials through his time as England’s head coach as well as his experience with Bradford in the Super League and now the Roosters in the NRL,” said Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle.
“In joining Stephen, Cappy (Andrew McFadden) and Stacey (Jones), Steve completes our NRL coaching staff for next season.
“We’re excited about being able to bring this group of coaches together as we strive to lift our standards. Certainly our senior players and the whole NRL squad will now have better coaching support than they’ve ever had before.”
McNamara was thrilled about his role with the Vodafone Warriors.
“I’ve learnt so much about the NRL in my three seasons with the Roosters, adding to past experience with England and Bradford,” he said.
“Now I’m really excited about this next step in my coaching career, coming to Auckland and working with Stephen and a great coaching group.
“I am in no doubt that the Vodafone Warriors have the players to make a mark in the NRL and I want to do all I can to help make that happen.
“I have the greatest admiration for Stephen from the days when we were opposing coaches of our national teams. He has done wonderfully well with the Kiwis and I’m sure he’s going to do a terrific job with the Vodafone Warriors.”
Kearney said he couldn’t be happier to secure McNamara.
“While Steve and I were adversaries in our roles with our national teams we formed a great relationship,” he said.
“He brings qualities that will give us a really strong and experienced coaching group as we look ahead to take the Vodafone Warriors to the level we collectively expect of this club.
“There’s much work to do but with Steve, Cappy and Stacey we have a coaching team that can really lift standards and bring about the improvements we must make to be consistently competitive in the NRL.”
McNamara played more than 300 top-level games for Great Britain, Hull FC, Bradford, Wakefield and Huddersfield from 1989-2003 before moving into coaching including six seasons as England head coach.
McNamara’s appointment follows the announcement earlier this month of the coaching staff for the Vodafone Warriors’ Intrust Super Premiership and NYC teams for the 2017 season.
Ricky Henry takes charge of the ISP team following Jones’ appointment as an NRL assistant coach. Henry, one of Jones’ ISP assistant coaches this year, will be supported by former Vodafone Warriors centre Jerome Ropati.
Stepping into the NYC team’s coaching position is Grant Pocklington, who guided the Point Chevalier Pirates to three consecutive Fox Memorial titles in the Auckland competition in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Pocklington was on Jones’ ISP coaching staff this year and was also assistant coach for the Kiwi Ferns for their three-match campaign against the Jillaroos at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines in February and the Anzac Test against Australia in May.
Continuing as the NYC team’s assistant coach is former Vodafone Warrior Boycie Nelson.
Born: September 18, 1971
Birthplace: Hull, England
Club: Bradford head coach 2006-2010, Sydney Roosters assistant coach 2014-2016
International: Great Britain assistant coach 2007, England assistant coach 2008-2009, England head coach 2010-2015
Position: Second row, loose forward
Junior Club: Skirlaugh, Hull
Club Career: Hull FC 1989-1996, Bradford 1996-2000, Wakefield 2000, Huddersfield 2001-2003
International Career: Great Britain, 1992-1999