Two of Great Britain's most decorated players set out their coaching ambitions at Thursday's launch of the 2011 Northern Rail Cup.
Garry Schofield, who jointly holds the record for most caps with 46, and Denis Betts, one of Britain's most-capped forwards with 32 appearances, faced the national media for the first time since ending their exile from rugby league in the off season.
Former Leeds and Hull stand-off Schofield, whose last coaching role was with Huddersfield in Super League in 1997, has joined Barrow while ex-Wigan favourite Betts, who spent five years in rugby union with Gloucester, is in charge of Widnes.
Their clubs will avoid meeting each other in the pool stages of the Northern Rail Cup but are almost certain to be rivals during the knockout stages and for the Championship title, while they are also vying with Halifax for a three-year Super League licence this year.
With two other former internationals, Daryl Powell and Mark Aston, in charge of Featherstone and Sheffield respectively, the Championship will enjoy arguably its highest-ever profile in 2011, much to the delight of Schofield, who is disappointed the Rugby Football League have not made more efforts to keep stalwarts like Andy Farrell and Shaun Edwards in the game.
"To be honest, I think it's a travesty," he said. "If you think of the players from the international set-up in my era who are out of the game, I find it quite disgusting. The game cannot afford to lose so much experience.
"I guess one or two people are surprised to see me back, given the time that I've been out, but I never lost the passion and ambition to be involved in the game."
Speaking at the Eureka national children's museum in Halifax, Schofield pledged his side would attempt to win with style as they look to repeat their feats of 2009, when they were Cup finalists and won the Grand Final.
"We are in the entertainment business and I'm looking to play an exciting and expansive game," he said.
"I'm ambitious and I'll certainly be looking to get to the Northern Rail Cup final and to win it and ultimately to the Grand Final.
"I've got to make sure that my players are enjoying the environment we're in and, if they play to their best ability, we won't be too far away."
Betts, whose Widnes side are favourites to secure a place in Super League from 2012, believes his stint in the 15-man code has improved him as a coach.
"It's great to be back," said Betts, who had a brief spell in charge of Wigan in 2005. "This is what I am.
"I really enjoyed my time in rugby union. I learned new skills and it improved me as a coach but my heart has always been in rugby league.
"The championship is a tough competition and it's nice to get down and get your hands dirty."
The Northern Rail Cup, which includes Toulouse for the first time, gets under way on Friday week and will reach a climax with the final at the 17,000-capacity Bloomfield Road in Blackpool on July 17.
Off Field Ambition Of Great Briton's
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