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Page last updated at 09:36 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 10:36 UK

Bradford Bulls release England coach Steve McNamara

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

Coach Steve McNamara has left Bradford Bulls by mutual consent, freeing him up to take over as England coach full-time with immediate effect.

He was assistant for three years to former England boss Tony Smith, who quit in November, and McNamara, 38, was appointed national coach in April.

Bulls assistant coach Lee St Hilaire will take charge of the team for the remainder of the Super League season.

"I wish Bradford Bulls every success, now and in the future," said McNamara.

McNamara had been expected to see out his Bulls contract until October before going full-time with England.

"I should like to thank all the players and staff at this great club for their undivided commitment whilst I have been in charge," added McNamara.

"I'm a little bit sad to be leaving Bradford because the club has been such a big part of my life.

"I have some great memories from my time at the Bulls, both as a player and as a coach. A lot of good work has taken place over the last four years and I firmly believe that strong foundations are in place for the next coach to take the club forward.

McNamara took over the Bradford job in April 2006 after Brian Noble's move to Wigan and the club say on their official website "an announcement regarding Steve McNamara's long-term successor will be made in due course".

Bradford have struggled this season and are currently languishing in 10th place in the Super League.

"The club thanks Steve for his commitment and unstinting hard work as head coach since 2006," read a Bradford statement.

"His legacy at the club is a youth development system that will pay dividends for the club for many years to come."

Chief executive Ryan Duckett added on BBC Radio Leeds: "We thought it was in the best interests of both parties to part ways.

"Steve can be fully focussed on the big job he's got with England, and the club want to be fully focussed on winning as many games as we can in the run-in to the end of the season, and hopefully making the top eight.

"Lee St Hilaire has been an excellent assistant coach, everyone's got faith in him, and he'll take charge until the end of the season.

"There won't be a new coach coming in until the end of the season, but we will hopefully announce a new coach in the very new future.

"We're reaching the stages of that process now, we've been through a long interview process of candidates, so hopefully in the next week we'll get something announced."

England beat France 60-6 in June in McNamara's first game in charge as their new coach.

606: DEBATE

McNamara's side then travel to Australia and New Zealand for the Four Nations series at the end of the season (October/November).

And McNamara will now be given the opportunity to fully concentrate on England's preparations for that series.

"There's a lot of work to do and I'm very excited that I now have the chance to channel all my energies into England," stated McNamara.

"We have made solid progress over the last 12 months and will be looking to kick on as we prepare for the Four Nations.

"The RFL wanted me to do the England job full time when I was appointed back in April but the Bulls felt it was in their best interests if I stayed and I was more than happy to do so."



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see also
England 60-6 France
12 Jun 10 |  Rugby League
McNamara lands England coach post
21 Apr 10 |  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
McNamara relishes Bulls challenge
21 Apr 06 |  Bradford
McNamara takes over at Bradford
20 Apr 06 |  Bradford


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