RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer has shared an insight into the factors behind their appointment of Shaun Wane as new England coach.
Former Wigan boss Wane has set his sights on winning next year’s World Cup after signing a two-year deal to replace Australian Wayne Bennett in the role.
In the announcement, The RFL say the decision to appoint Wane, and end Bennett’s four years as head coach of England and Great Britain, followed a review into all aspects of last autumn’s Great Britain tour, “which had always been planned midway through the four-year World Cup cycle”.
The RFL Board added that they “believe a full-time, UK-based Head Coach is the best outcome of that review for the two years leading to the World Cup, in which England’s major matches will all be played at home”.
RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer added: “Shaun is passionate about the game and his country, and also an outstanding coach, as shown by his record in eight seasons as Wigan’s Head Coach, a major feature of which was the success he and the club had in developing so many homegrown players.
“With two years to go in the lead up to RLWC2021, a full review was always programmed in to follow from the 2019 Great Britain tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“After careful consideration of the review report, the RFL Board concluded that a change of direction on the position of Head Coach was the next evolution alongside adopting several of the recommendations made.
“We are confident that one of the benefits of Shaun’s appointment will be to further build support for and belief in the national team from the Rugby League community and know that he will work closely with the clubs within this process.
“I’d like to place on record on behalf of the RFL and England and Great Britain Rugby League our thanks to Wayne Bennett for his immense contribution as our Head Coach over the last four years, when England reached the 2017 World Cup Final and had an excellent home series win against New Zealand in 2018.
“Wayne is a very special coach and has taken us on a great journey. Once you see him operate up close then it becomes clear why he has been so successful, and each of our players who have experienced that will have benefited hugely – as have I.”