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Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 11:35 UK

Bradford coach Steve McNamara lands England post


McNamara hopes to rival Aussies

Bradford boss Steve McNamara has been named as England's rugby league coach.

McNamara spent three years as assistant to previous national boss Tony Smith, who quit the role in November 2009 after the Four Nations tournament.

The 38-year-old will see out his Bulls contract until the end of the season before going full-time with England from October.

McNamara's first task will be to pick a side to play France on 12 June ahead of the Four Nations later this year.

"I think it's everyone's dream as a young boy growing up to play for your country or maybe sometimes coach your country and I'm proud to get the privilege to do that," said McNamara.

The Rugby Football League has also appointed veteran Australian coach Brian Smith to mentor McNamara and act as performance adviser.

The Sydney Roosters boss is the brother of Tony Smith, and previously coached McNamara at both Hull FC and Bradford.

But he insists there will be no conflict of loyalty over his involvement with England.

"I have known Steve for most of his rugby league career and been an influence throughout most of his adult life and I was delighted when he asked if I would be prepared to help," he said.

"Working with England is not something I ever saw myself doing but I feel honoured to be involved.

"I'll help Steve with the day-to-day aspects of coaching and I'll also be updating him on the players and with the general trends in coaching down under.

"I have spoken with (ARL chairman) Colin Love and my own chief executive at the Roosters about my role and they're happy for it to go ahead.


"I don't see any compromise. We Aussies love to win and we never want to see Australia lose but we also want international rugby league to grow and prosper.

"Hopefully my presence in the England coaching team will help that happen."

Hull coach Richard Agar, Harlequins boss Brian McDermott and former Wigan star Denis Betts - now in the backroom staff at union side Gloucester - were also interviewed for the job.

But RFL chief executive Nigel Wood insisted that McNamara was the first choice.

"It has been a long and thorough process but throughout it all it was clear that Steve McNamara was the right man for the job," he said.

"Steve has shown an appetite to develop both personally and to help develop English coaching."

McNamara took over the Bradford job in April 2006 after Brian Noble's move to Wigan.

Bulls chairman Peter Hood says the Odsal club will now start the process of finding a successor to McNamara.

New England coach Steve McNamara
McNamara won four Great Britain caps in his playing days

"Steve informed me a couple of days ago that he wanted to accept the England challenge, effectively ruling himself out of contention for a new contract at the club," said Hood.

"Instead of debating a new deal for Steve, the board can instead move swiftly on to begin the process of considering the merits of other suitably qualified candidates.

"Whilst I know the RFL's preference was to have Steve in full-time post immediately, from the outset they made it clear they would abide by the club's decision as to when he would become available.

"We believe the club is best served by Steve seeing out the remainder of his contract to give us the best possible chance of maximising our potential in both the Super League and the Challenge Cup."

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see also
New Agar deal ends England talk
01 Apr 10 |  Hull
Kear & Ford rule out England role
23 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
Coaches insist England are united
17 Nov 09 |  English
RFL confirm full-time coach role
30 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
England to seek full-time coach
15 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
Smith quits role as England coach
15 Nov 09 |  Rugby League
McNamara relishes Bulls challenge
21 Apr 06 |  Bradford
McNamara takes over at Bradford
20 Apr 06 |  Bradford

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Portsmouth Today McNamara named new England coach - 9 hrs ago
Rugby Football League McNamara appointed as England Head Coach - 15 hrs ago
Clubcall McNamara named by RFL - 15 hrs ago
Observer McNamara appointed England coach - 17 hrs ago Steve McNamara named new England rugby league coach - 20 hrs ago