Denis Betts in mix for coaching return as part of new-look Newcastle setup

Former Widnes coach, Denis Betts is among the names under consideration for a role at League 1 side, Newcastle Thunder as they close in on a replacement for coach Jason Payne.

Payne was sacked by Thunder following back-to-back defeats at the start of the new League 1 season, with Thunder adamant they were keen to take their time finding the right candidate to replace Payne and mount a promotion push this season.

League Express has been told no decision has been reached, and the club will remain in talks with more than one candidate over the coming days.

But Betts’ name has emerged – although not necessarily as head coach.

League Express understands that Betts could yet be considered for a role other than coach, with a potential role as director of rugby or head of rugby not completely ruled out.

Sources have told League Express, however, that no terms had been agreed with anyone, for any role, as of Sunday evening and the time of publication.

Betts told League Express earlier this year that he was keen to return to coaching, after leaving Widnes last season following a lengthy, and largely successful, reign at the Vikings.

Since Payne’s departure, former Oxford coach Tim Rumford has temporarily taken the reins at Newcastle, with his most recent performance a convincing victory against West Wales Raiders on Sunday, in the Challenge Cup.

Thunder face West Wales again this weekend, as they return to league action.