Cornwall reveal their first head coach ahead of League 1 debut

Neil Kelly has been revealed as the first head coach of Cornwall RLFC, who will make their debut in League 1 in 2022.

It was confirmed last month that the club, which Eric Perez initially intended to be based in Canada as Ottawa Aces, would move to the south-west of England.

Cornwall are yet to reveal any members of their playing squad but have got the ball rolling with the appointment of a head coach for their inaugural season.

The 59-year-old Kelly brings vast coaching experience to the club over more than two decades, including a stint with Widnes Vikings which saw him take the club into the top flight in 2001 and be named Super League Coach of the Year the following season.

Kelly has also had two spells in charge of Dewsbury Rams, leaving for a second time at the end of the 2018 season, as well as coaching at Leigh Centurions and in various roles in rugby union.

“I’m pinching myself and I see it as a real honour to be the coach of Cornwall RLFC for our inaugural season going into rugby league,” said Kelly.

“I have great experience and I am a guy that has a good name within the game. I see Cornwall RLFC as the perfect challenge for myself.”

“We are thrilled to have secured the signing of Neil as Cornwall’s first head coach,” said Cornwall general manager Gareth Reid.

“Neil comes with a lifetime of experience in the sport at the highest levels and this combined with his in-depth knowledge of the game will be invaluable as we begin our journey as a club.

“I am particularly looking forward to working with him as we tap into the Cornish rugby community to identify and develop local talent for the club in year one.”