Bradford boss Steve McNamara has been named as England rugby league head coach. The announcement which had been widely touted was made official and he is confirmed in the role until the end of 2013 and the World Cup in England.
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.
McNamara said: (quote) I think it is everyone’s dream as a young boy growing up to play for your country or maybe sometimes coach your country and I am proud to get the privilege to do that. (end quote)
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.
Smith said: (quote) 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, working with England is not something I ever saw myself doing but I feel honoured to be involved. I will help Steve with the day-to-day aspects of coaching and I will 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 are happy for it to go ahead. (end quote)