Rea in for Powell at Broncos
Rob Powell became the second Super League coaching casualty in 24 hours today when he was removed from his role with London Broncos.
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Powell, at 31 the youngest head coach in Super League, makes way for the return of former Broncos boss Tony Rea on a temporary basis for the rest of the season.
Powell, who has been offered the chance to remain with the club, has paid the price for a dismal season for the Londoners, who are bottom of Super League with just three wins from their 20 matches.
Chairman David Hughes said: "We had to make changes because our performances were unacceptable. This is a result of our mid-season internal review with other findings due to be concluded soon."
The removal of Powell comes in the wake of the sacking of Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown following a run of one win in eight matches.
Powell, who has been with the Broncos for five-and-a-half years, was promoted from the role of assistant coach when Brian McDermott left to return north with Leeds Rhinos at the end of the 2010 season and was given a two-year contract.
The Londoners finished third from bottom in his first season but were expected to push for the play-offs this year after Hughes decided to spend up to the salary cap with the capture of high-profile signings like Craig Gower and NRL grand-finalists Shane Rodney and Michael Robertson.
However, they have under-performed all year and have not won a Super League fixture away from home since February 2011.
Rea, 45, a former player who held the posts of head coach and chief executive during a 13-year stint at the club, will be in charge for the last seven games of the season as the club search for a successor to Powell.
"I've had regular contact with Tony and he feels for the club," said Hughes. "I'm pleased that he has been able to come over and help us out at this time."
Rea, who returned to Australia at the end of the 2007 season to join Canberra-based rugby union side the Brumbies, is expected to arrive on Thursday to prepare the team for Saturday's home game against leaders Wigan.
"I always check the Broncos' results," said Rea, who described the call from his old club as 'a bolt out of the blue'.
"Being down in Australia there are a lot of ex-players. The network's still strong here and we spend a fair bit of time ringing each other and talking about the club.
"I want to get people to enjoy playing again. It's not about tactics, coaching or structure but belief and morale, making sure people re-connect.
"Knowing the people who support the club, I want to validate their decision and help get them to be the club they want to be and Rob will be included in that."
Hughes said he hopes to make a permanent appointment before the start of pre-season training.
"We are advertising for a new head coach, both in the UK and worldwide, with a view to him being in place for pre-season on November 1," he said.
"Rob is still part of the team and we hope he will work with Tony for the remainder of the season.
"He will have a job with the club going forward in some capacity. Obviously his specific role will be dependant on the new head coach.
"Rob is important to the development side of the club along with Phil Jones, and is a valued member of staff."
Powell said he would not be involved in Saturday's game after being placed on gardening leave.
"I've been asked to take two weeks' leave," he said.
"I wish the boys the best of luck this weekend. Any further comment must come from the club."