Sandercock Lands Hull KR Coaching Job
Hull KR have appointed little-known Australian Craig Sandercock as their new head coach.
The 42-year-old, who has been assistant coach at Newcastle Knights for the last two seasons after previously being with Manly Sea Eagles, will succeed Justin Morgan on a two-year contract, with the option of a third season at Craven Park.
Sandercock, a one-time economics teacher who had a brief spell at London Broncos in his playing days, got the nod ahead of former Canterbury Bulldogs head coach Kevin Moore and South Sydney assistant Kurt Wrigley.
Rovers chief executive Mike Smith, who travelled to Australia last week with chairman Neil Hudgell and vice-chairman Rob Crossland to conduct face-to-face interviews, says the club have got the right man for the job.
``We said all along that we wanted to take our time and make sure that we made the right appointment and I think we've done that,'' he said.
``The interview procedure was incredibly thorough, which it needed to be, as we wanted to bring in the right man to take Hull Kingston Rovers forward.
``We spoke with several top-quality candidates and Craig was the outstanding one.
``He has an excellent reputation within the NRL and was highly recommended by everyone we spoke to about him.
``Craig has also shown during his time with Manly and Newcastle that he has a special talent for developing young players and that was a key element for us.
``He's really excited about coming to Hull Kingston Rovers and can't wait to get started.''
Sandercock, who will be taking up his first role as a head coach, said: ``I am really excited about coming to Hull KR and coaching in the Super League.
``The rich history of the club, the professional way in which it's administered, the passionate supporters and, most importantly, the prospect of coaching a talented group of players greatly appeals to me.''
Sandercock's appointment comes just a month after neighbouring Hull appointed Wests Tigers assistant Peter Gentle as their new head coach, while Salford took a similar option earlier this year with the choice of former North Queensland assistant Matt Parish as the successor to Shaun McRae.
Super League clubs are clearly being swayed by the success of Wigan's Michael Maguire, who was a relative unknown assistant coach at Melbourne Storm when he was chosen to succeed Brian Noble at the DW Stadium two years ago.
With Wakefield and Castleford also filling their vacancies recently, it leaves only Wigan to announce a successor to Maguire and they are expected to promote Shaun Wane into the role, with Iestyn Harris as his assistant.
That will again leave overseas coaches in a big majority in Super League, with only Harlequins, Wakefield, Leeds, Wigan and newcomers Widnes having Britons in charge and the other nine opting for Australians.
Sandercock joined Newcastle at the start of last season as assistant to Ricky Stone and, although he was not being retained by his successor Wayne Bennett for 2012, he has been given a ringing endorsement by his old boss.
``Craig is an outstanding, young, forward-thinking coach who has impressed everyone at the Knights with his work ethic, report and structure building,'' Stone said.
``His unique coaching style and ability to work in a group environment makes him a great choice for Hull KR.
``Craig has both a great knowledge and thirst for knowledge of our game and, after eight years with Manly Sea Eagles and two years at the Newcastle Knights, is ready to take the next step in his coaching career.
``We at the Knights wish him well and have no doubt he will be an absolute success in his new role.''