Rugby League: Two jobs Mac will still boss England

Steve McNamara.
Steve McNamara.
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sTEVE MCnamara is to continue as England boss, but only on a part-time basis.

McNamara will remain in charge of the England team, combining the role with that of assistant coach at Sydney Roosters, where he will team up with former Catalan Dragons head coach Trent Robinson and work with star players like Sonny Bill Williams.

“The RFL is delighted to announce that it has reached an agreement with Steve McNamara that will see him continue in his position as head coach of the England Rugby League team,” an RFL statement read.

“McNamara will remain as England coach in a part-time capacity and will combine the role with that of assistant coach at Australian club Sydney Roosters.”

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood was delighted to agree the new deal with the Hull-born coach.

Wood said: “It gives me great pleasure to confirm that Steve has agreed to continue as England coach into 2014 when we will be looking to build on the advances seen over the last four years.”

He added that retaining McNamara’s services would give the England team much-needed stability.

Wood said: “We have made considerable progress internationally over the past four years and this arrangement provides stability and continuity.

“It also allows Steve and the England coaching staff to continue working towards our goal of achieving the international success we so narrowly missed out on in Rugby League World Cup 2013.

“Steve can also realise his own desire to return to club coaching and I am sure his involvement with Sydney Roosters will have a positive impact on his own career development.”

Meanwhile, McNamara is convinced that he can successfully take on both roles.

He said: “I have a great team around me within the England camp and the RFL Performance Department and I will be maintaining regular contact with them all, as well as all the Elite Training Squad players, following my move to Australia.”

The future of the former Bradford Bulls coach, who had an open ended contract with the RFL, was up in the air, after the painful World Cup semi-final exit to New Zealand.

But he admitted the chance to improve on this autumn’s achievements was too good to resist.

He added: “I would like to thank the RFL board of directors for giving me this opportunity to carry on working with an outstanding group of players who I firmly believe are on the verge of achieving sustained success.

“It’s always been an ambition of mine to coach in the NRL and the chance to work with the NRL champions is something that doesn’t come along very often.

“I have a great relationship with Trent Robinson and am looking forward to working alongside him and the rest of the Roosters staff in what is a very exciting chapter in my career.”

Sydney Roosters chief Robinson can’t wait to team up with McNamara.

He said: “I have a lot of respect for the work Steve has put in to developing England’s players and squad and I’m pleased to have him joining our staff.

“I have known Steve for a long time and he will do a great job rounding out our team alongside Jason Taylor and Craig Fitzgibbon.

“Steve is a coach with huge integrity and I’m looking forward to him applying his knowledge and contributing to our development at the Sydney Roosters.”

Meanwhile, Roosters’ chief operating officer football Brian Canavan said: “We look forward to Steve officially joining the Roosters in the new year.”

England’s next scheduled fixtures will take place in the 2014 Four Nations in Australia and New Zealand next autumn.

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