The first coaching casualty of 2016 was confirmed on Wednesday morning, after Hull KR parted ways with Chris Chester just three games into the new season.
Following defeats to Wakefield and Warrington and a draw against Castleford, the Robins confirmed in a short statement that Chester has been stood down, with Willie Poching in charge for Friday’s game against St Helens.
Beyond that though, who is likely to be the next man in the hotseat at the KC Lighstream Stadium? Here’s five potential candidates.
Could Poching himself be a realistic bet for the next Robins coach? Expect to know more after this weekend’s game against the Saints, but Poching could be a smart choice if Hull KR opt for the ‘boot room policy’, and decide to promote from within. He comes highly regarded in the game having spent time as an assistant at both Warrington and Hull KR – and could well be ready for the step up to a senior role in the wake of Chester being stood down by the club on Wednesday.
With Chester a former Hull KR player who served the club with distinction, might the Robins think about going down the same route again and putting a former stalwart of the club in charge as head coach? James Webster is currently working with the City of Hull Academy, which gives him somewhat of a foot in the door in regards to being aware of the club’s playing squad. He was a fantastic servant for KR as a player – and after leaving Wakefield last summer, could he be ready to step back into Super League coaching?
Another coach who has recently left his job is Francis Cummins, who was working in rugby union with Yorkshire Carnegie of late. He did a good job in difficult circumstances at Bradford before being replaced by James Lowes, and he hasn’t had a coaching job in the 13-man code since.
Quite an obvious one, this – and although there are no odds floating around from the bookmakers just yet, you would expect Paul Rowley to be installed as one of the favourites when they do materialise. The job he did at Leigh was absolutely sensational, and Rowley is certainly ready for a step up into the big time. Hull KR would surely be interested in Rowley if the feeling was mutual, and he could be a fantastic appointment for the club.
On the theme of Championship coaches who are impressing in recent years, Dewsbury’s Glenn Morrison is certainly one of the most highly-regarded coaches in the British game at the moment. Morrison has done a fine job with the Rams, and was one of the heavy favourites to get the Wakefield job last year before Brian Smith was appointed. Could he be ready for a step up into a full-time environment with Hull KR?