Chris Chester: Former Wakefield Trinity coach appointed head of rugby at Leigh Centurions
Former Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester has joined Leigh Centurions as head of rugby.
Chester, who was sacked by Trinity in August after six seasons in charge, has signed a two-year full-time contract in the non-coaching role.
The 42-year-old, who has also coached Hull KR, is tasked with steering Leigh back into Betfred Super League following their relegation this year.
“This is a role that really excites me,” he said.
“Leigh Centurions is a big club and with the restructure plans for rugby league, there are exciting times ahead.
“I have a good relationship with [owner] Derek Beaumont, [head of operations] Neil Jukes and [chairman] Mike Latham and I can’t wait to get started.”
Chester added: “Since leaving Wakefield I’ve had time to reflect and recharge my batteries and this role gives me an opportunity to build something really strong
“I will get the right people involved, as players and staff, to ensure the club fulfils its great potential.
“There are still plenty of players available, both here and overseas and so we have the opportunity to make quality additions to the group of players that are already contracted for next year.”
Centurions’ owner Derek Beaumont said he is “delighted” to bring Chester to the club.
“He is a fantastic bloke who is vastly experienced in the game, from playing to coaching both at Hull KR and over a prolonged period in a tough seat at Wakefield where he has not had the luxury of budgets afforded to other coaches in the game,” he said.
“His knowledge of players at all levels and dealing with agents will be significant in what he can bring to the club.”
Beaumont went on: “Chris has a great work ethic which will be needed.
“He knows me well and he knows my ambition for the club and is keen and excited to achieve those goals with me, which is why he has taken this position outside of the coaching opportunities he has been offered.”
Beaumont said his hopes of recruiting a “high profile NRL coach” have been dashed after the individual concerned was unable to secure a release from his current club.
Kurt Haggerty has been in interim charge since former Featherstone Rovers coach John Duffy was sacked part way through the season.