Head coaches off contract at the end of the season

We all know by now that we are just a week away from the window opening for out-of-contract players to speak to rival clubs.

However, players aren’t the only ones off-contract at the end of the year.

There are several head coaches who, as it stands, are out of work at the end of the year. Here’s a list of them.


Hull FC – Lee Radford


The Black and Whites have the biggest list of off-contract players in Super League, and they’ve got their head coach to consider too.

Lee Radford is in his sixth full season as Black and Whites head coach and has two Challenge Cup triumphs to his name.

In Super League, Radford endured a shaky first year as the club finished in 11th in 2014, but back-to-back third-place returns in 2016 and 2017 saw a marked improvement, before finishing eighth last season.

Radford has been relaxed about contract talks and there have been no suggestions the Black and Whites will opt for a change. That said, there has been no new contract announced yet.

Hull KR – Tim Sheens

Radford isn’t the only coach off-contract in Hull, though.

Tim Sheens is in also the final year of his contract – with the Robins.

The World Cup-winning coach has done the job he was tasked with achieving, when he joined the club in 2017.  First, by guiding them to a return to Super League at the first attempt, and then by keeping them in Super League last year.

Nevertheless, his future seems a bit more unclear than Radford’s.  Lter this year, the Australian will turn 69, and it remains to be seen whether he will extend his coaching career. There have been suggestions he might return to Australia.

St Helens – Justin Holbrook

The most high-profile man on this list is the Saints coach, whose future has been much discussed in the media.

It’s no secret that Holbrook is off-contract at the end of the year; he has spoken about it publicly.

Bearing in mind his superb record with the club, you’d have to think that Saints will want to keep him and likewise, Holbrook has expressed his desire to stay.

The big question ultimately is: what happens if an NRL club comes calling?

Wigan – Adrian Lam

Adrian Lam has been a forgotten man, during the Wigan / Shaun Edwards saga.

But with that club legend now officially not returning, Lam’s future has come into the spotlight.

Wigan need a coach beyond the end of the year and Ian Lenagan has said Lam is a strong contender.

You’d have to imagine that next several months will determine, ultimately, whether he or someone else gets the role.


Batley – Matt Diskin

Diskin is in the third and final year of the contract he took on, once he replaced John Kear.

His time at the Bulldogs has been a mixed bag.  There have been a number of eye-catching results (among them their recent victory over Widnes), but also some disappointing defeats.

They finished sixth in his first year in charge, followed by a seventh-placed return, and with 4 wins from 11 games they are currently ninth in the Championship.

Halifax – Richard Marshall

Now in his fifth season at Halifax, could this be Richard Marshall’s last?

Marshall has performed superbly at Halifax, securing three top-four finishes in four years.

They have really struggled however, in 2019 to date, and are currently languishing in eighth place.

It’s been a weird season for Fax. They were tipped to go really well but, for whatever reason that hasn’t happened so far.

Marshall has done a great job at The Shay, until now.

Will the end of the year provide him with a new challenge, or will it be an extended stay?

Swinton – Stuart Littler

The Ireland coach has had a tough time at the Lions but ultimately he did keep them up in 2018.

They look like being involved in a relegation scrap again this year though, even though they are currently 11th in the Championship.

Either way, Swinton’s first priority in the short-term is survival and Littler achieved that last year.

If he can do it again this time around, you’d imagine he’d be given some more time to try and push the Lions up the league.

Widnes – Kieron Purtill

Although he’s only been at the club a matter of months, it has already been quite the ride for the former Leigh chief, hasn’t it?

Having left Leigh following their financial crisis, at Widnes he has landed in another.

Nevertheless, as ever he handled himself impeccably and can now focus on coaching again.

And with the Vikings having won seven of their ten games so far (despite having a very thin squad), you’d think likely Purtill will be given a new deal.