Bradford Bulls have named James Lowes as their new head coach on a three-year deal.
Lowes, 44, leaves his post as Leeds Carnegie’s head coach after one year with the rugby union club.
Bulls chairman Marc Green said: “We are absolutely delighted to have someone of James’ calibre in place as our new head coach.
“As a board of directors, we recognise his talents, what he has achieved in the game, the names he has worked under and alongside in previous roles, and also what he achieved, last season, with Leeds Carnegie.
“Regardless of what division we play in next year, we believe James is the right man to drive this club forward and into a new era.
“We have been working extremely hard to ensure we have the right man for the job and are confident James can achieve great things here, both in the short term and in the long term.”
Lowes will begin coaching the Bulls’ first team tomorrow morning, before leading Bradford into Super League battle against former his employers on Sunday afternoon.
The one-time Yorkshire captain has previously worked as an assistant coach for England, Bradford, Salford, Leeds and Warrington, where he acted as head coach for a period during 2008.
Following a return to the Rhinos in 2011, as assistant to current boss Brian McDermott, Lowes took up the position of head coach with former Premiership rugby union side Leeds Carnegie.
Chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul added: “James fully understands the importance of nurturing stars of the future, he recognises the need for talent to filter through from the bottom up.
“In the short term, James is aiming to get the very best out of the squad and will begin work with our players right away.
“Going forward, he is committed to piecing together and developing a full performance department solution, while aiming to return this fantastic club to its former glories.”
Carnegie chairman Sir Ian McGeechan said: “We are disappointed to be losing James Lowes but we understand his desire to return to Bradford Bulls and we wish him well.
“Our search for a new coach begins immediately. Myself and Director of Rugby, Chris Gibson, will take our time to find the right man. This may take some time and in the meantime I will oversee the coaching staff and pre-season arrangements.
“All the players return from the off season next week in preparation for a very big year as we strive to realise our Premiership ambitions.”
Gary Hetherington added: “This has come out of the blue and has developed very quickly and whilst we are disappointed with the outcome we have come to a satisfactory agreement with James and the Bulls and we wish them both well.”