Kear takes Wales role

  • Last Updated: July 16 2014, 8:28 BST

Veteran coach John Kear has been appointed by Wales as the successor to Iestyn Harris.

John Kear: New Wales head coach
John Kear: New Wales head coach

The appointment of the 59-year-old will complete a notable hat-trick for Kear, who has also coached England and France.

He will take charge of Wales for the first time this autumn when they take on France, Scotland and Ireland in the European Championships, and his appointment includes the 2017 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Harris, 38, vacated the role to take charge of Super League outfit Salford in April.

Wales Rugby League chairman Brian Juliff said: "The appointment of John Kear as head coach brings a wealth of experience forged at the highest level of the game to Wales Rugby League.

"His knowledge and proven ability to bring the very best out of his players makes him an ideal fit for Wales Rugby League at this formative time.

"It was important to bring in someone who shares our values and is committed to our vision to be a top-four rugby league nation in governance and performance.

"John's immediate challenge is to balance a young but very capable Wales squad into a winning team at this year's European Championship and thereafter lay the foundation for success at the Rugby League World Cup 2017.

"I look forward to building a strong and supportive relationship with John to underpin the undoubted potential of Wales Rugby League."

Kear was England coach in the 2000 World Cup and had a brief spell in charge of France in 1997.

The former Castleford player began a successful coaching career at Bramley in 1992 and, after a brief stint in Super League at Paris St Germain, famously guided Sheffield Eagles to a shock Challenge Cup final win over Wigan in 1998, repeating the act with Hull in 2005.

Kear was then in charge of Wakefield and for the last two years Kear has been coaching Championship club Batley Bulldogs, a role he will perform alongside his Wales appointment.

Kear said: "I'm really delighted to have this opportunity as the new head coach of Wales Rugby League.

"I'm a big believer in international rugby league as my background shows. I really think that I can make a big contribution to the game in Wales that will allow us to qualify and do well in Rugby League World Cup 2017.

"A strong international game is essential for Rugby League. The more competitive teams we have at the highest level the better and it's my challenge to turn Wales into one of those top teams.

"I'm really looking forward to a long relationship with Wales Rugby League as we build for 2017 and beyond."


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