Huddersfield Giants have, as predicted, signed St Helens halfback Theo Fages, but lost highly rated Academy coach Kim Williams, who is heading back to Australia.
France international Fages, a three-time title winner with St Helens, who also featured in this year’s Challenge Cup triumph, has agreed a three-year deal.
The 49-year-old Williams was two-thirds of the way through that length of contract, signed after he spent the 2019 season in charge of League 1 club West Wales Raiders.
Before that, he was high performance manager of Melbourne Storm and then coached Queensland Cup sides Mackay Cutters and Central Queensland Capras, who are Brisbane Broncos’ feeder team.
His wife Caron has been working within the Giants’ commercial department.
“Kim was a great appointment for us and he delivered what we thought he would and more,” said Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis.
“The pandemic scuppered many plans and caused havoc within the age-range he coached. But he battled on, always in a positive manner despite many hurdles.
“He will be a huge loss to us, but an opportunity has arisen that he simply can’t turn down.
“A great many players owe him their thanks and will look back with great pleasure at their time under Kim’s tutelage.
“We are also losing Caron, who was working successfully in the commercial department and had built up a great rapport with our partners and sponsors.
“We had been aware of the situation that arose for them in Australia for some time, so it’s not unexpected.
“Kim, typically, wanted nothing to distract the players during the year and they went on to complete a very successful Academy season.
“Had there been a league table, we would have been challenging at the top end.”
Williams, who has also held Rugby League development roles in Adelaide and Perth, said: “My two years here have been among the most enjoyable of my career.
“I have had the privilege of coaching a fantastic group of young men who have shown tremendous commitment and resilience throughout these testing times.”
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