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Assistant coach Steve McNamara during a Vodafone Warriors training session at Mt Smart Stadium

Vodafone Warriors assistant coach Steve McNamara has requested and been granted an immediate release from his contract to become head coach for the Perpignan-based Les Catalans in the English Super League.

Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said while it was disappointing to lose a coach of McNamara’s calibre midseason the club wouldn’t stand in his way.

“We would have loved Steve to remain until the end of this season but we don’t want to stop him being able to take up a position like this,” he said.

Head coach Stephen Kearney said while McNamara’s stay had been shorter than planned he’d been a real asset.

“He’s brought a lot to the club through his experience with England, in the Super League and at the Roosters,” he said.

“He has also been a great person to have around the club. I’m disappointed to see him go but we wish him all the best.”

While his stay at the Vodafone Warriors had ended prematurely, McNamara said it had been of huge benefit to him.

“I love this club and the people here but the opportunity to take up a head coaching role has suddenly become available,” he said.

“I can’t thank the Vodafone Warriors enough for their understanding and enabling me to take up this job as soon as possible.

“I wish Stephen and the players all the best for the rest of the season and in future years. I’ll be following the club with plenty of interest.”

McNamara heads to France immediately to join Les Catalans in time for their Super League clash against Warrington this weekend.

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