Catalans Dragons appoint ex-England boss Steve McNamara
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 19/06/17 10:09am
Steve McNamara has been appointed as the new head coach of Catalans Dragons after his release from New Zealand Warriors.
The 45-year-old, who was in charge of England from 2010 to 2015, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal and replaces Laurent Frayssinous at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
"I am honoured to be appointed as the head coach of the Catalans Dragons," McNamara said.
"The club has a huge potential and I look forward to working closely with the current group of staff and players, helping the team to improve in all areas of our performance and organization."
McNamara has spent the last three and a half years working as an assistant coach in the NRL, initially with Sydney Roosters and more recently with the Auckland-based Warriors. He was also recently appointed as an assistant to Kiwis head coach David Kidwell.
Warriors managing director Jim Doyle confirmed McNamara had requested and been granted an immediate release from his contract.
"We would have loved Steve to remain until the end of this season but we don't want to stop him being able to take up a position like this," said Doyle.
McNamara, who is set to join the Catalans in time for their game at Warrington on Saturday, said: "I love this club and the people here but the opportunity to take up a head coaching role has suddenly become available.
"I can't thank the Vodafone Warriors enough for their understanding and enabling me to take up this job as soon as possible.
"I wish Stephen and the players all the best for the rest of the season and in future years. I'll be following the club with plenty of interest."
McNamara, who was the youngest head coach in Super League when he was appointed in 2006, takes over a Dragons team struggling in the bottom four and reeling from a 56-12 home defeat by Huddersfield in their last match.
Jerome Guisset and Michael Monaghan have been in joint-caretaker charge since the club parted company with the long-serving Frayssinous in May.
McNamara quit as head coach of Bradford to take full-time charge of the national team in 2010 and guided them to the semi-finals of the 2013 World Cup.
He then moved to Sydney when the Rugby Football League position reverted to being part-time and helped steer England to a series win over the Kiwis in the autumn of 2015.
His contract was not renewed at the end of 2015 and he was replaced by Australian Wayne Bennett.