Struggling Super League side Salford City Reds have named Australian Shaun McRae as their new coach.
McRae left his role with NRL side South Sydney last year
The former St Helens, Hull and South Sydney boss, 48, has been handed a four-and-a-half year contract that will take him to the end of the 2011 season.
The Reds, who sacked Karl Harrison last month, are bottom of the table after picking up nine points from 16 games and have 11 matches to save themselves.
McRae's first game in charge will be Friday's home clash with Harlequins.
"We feel with 11 crucial games to play that this is a very important signing for the club," said Salford chairman John Wilkinson.
"We feel we had to make a signing of a person with vast experience and an enviable track record.
"I'm positive everybody will get behind him and we can complete the season on a high note."
With 11 games remaining we will have to win the majority of them to go past somebody
McRae coached throughout the first nine seasons of Super League, winning the title with St Helens and then moving on to Gateshead and Hull.
He left Hull at the end of the 2004 season to take over at South Sydney but his tenure with the NRL club ended last year when he was moved upstairs to director of rugby.
He quit that role over the winter and has since taken a break from the game, although he applied unsuccessfully for the Great Britain coaching job earlier this year.
He was made favourite for the Salford post immediately after Harrison's departure on 22 May and he was one of four applicants shortlisted for the post by the club.
McRae had travelled to Britain to undertake some TV work with Sky Sports when he heard about the vacancy.
James Lowes was interviewed but we feel he needs more time... I think working with Shaun will do him some good
It took the club two weeks to finalise the appointment but McRae is now relishing the challenge and is confident of leading the Reds to safety.
McRae added: "With 11 games remaining we will have to win the majority of them to go past somebody.
"I don't think we can place a game percentage on that but clearly it needs to improve - nine points out of 16 indicates there has to be some improvement.
"Other clubs can have a say but really your destiny lies in your own hands. You can only control what your team can do.
"We have to continue to work hard and utilise the talent at this club - and clearly there is a lot of talent. That was proved when they reached the play-offs last year."
Salford have shown an improvement in form since Harrison's departure, beating Huddersfield and losing narrowly to champions St Helens.
One man partly responsible for that was assistant coach James Lowes, who maintained the day-to-day running of the side along with football director Steve Simms and was interviewed for the job himself.
The club say the former Great Britain hooker will remain as McRae's number two.
Wilkinson said: "James was interviewed but we feel he needs more time.
"He is a very good young coach but I think working with Shaun will do him some good. He reacted very positively and is looking forward to working with Shaun."