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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 11:04 GMT
Hanley appointed Doncaster coach
Ellery Hanley
Hanley was awarded an MBE for his services to the sport
Rugby league legend Ellery Hanley has returned to the sport by joining National League Two side Doncaster as head coach.

The 46-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the Keepmoat Stadium outfit.

"I was very content with what I was doing but I was very impressed by the enthusiasm of the club," said Hanley.

"Money was not a factor. I was attracted by the different kind of challenge in terms of taking the team from the doldrums."

Hanley earned his reputation as one of rugby league's greats during a playing career at Bradford, Wigan and Leeds from 1978-1995, earning 34 caps for Great Britain.

He also coached Great Britain during the 1994 Ashes series.

Hanley coached St Helens from 1999-2000 and led them to a Grand Final win over Bradford before being controversially sacked a month into the following season.

He switched to rugby union and had posts with Bristol and the England set-up, also dabbling with squash before returning to rugby league as a coaching consultant with Castleford in 2004, but only worked with the Tigers for two months.


Doncaster were relegated to National League Two this year after breaking the league's insolvency rules.

Their new owners Shane Miller and Craig Harrison have targeted landing a Super League licence for 2009 with Hanley a key part of their plan.

Harrison said: "We wanted to make a massive statement and this shows the intent of the club.

"There is an aura about Ellery and it's a fantastic signing for rugby league."

Hanley started off his illustrious career at Bradford before taking his explosive talents to Wigan.

Ellery Hanley
Hanley led Great Britain to glory in Australia in 1988

He helped the club to a period of domination which saw the pick up a World Club Championship, four Challenge Cups, three Championships, a Premiership, four John Player Trophy successes and four Lancashire Cups.

Hanley had spells with Australian clubs Balmain and Western Suburbs before returning to Britain with Leeds, where he scored 41 tries in the 1994-95 season, a world record for a forward.

On the international stage, a series against Australia in 1988 enhanced Hanley's reputation as he led Great Britain to win their first match in an Ashes series in 10 years.

Two years later, he earned an MBE for his services to rugby league.

Hanley won three Man of Steel awards during his career and was inducted to the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2005, while a poll this year saw him named as Britain's greatest player.

Hanley given Hall of Fame honour
17 Oct 05 |  Rugby League
Hanley leaves Castleford
06 Jul 04 |  My Club


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