Hull Kingston Rovers snare Poching as assistant

Hull Kingston Rovers boss Chris Chester has strengthened his backroom staff for 2015 with the addition of vastly experienced Willie Poching as his new assistant coach.

Chester was appointed as the club’s head coach on a full-time basis last week and has wasted no time in snapping up the services of the highly rated Poching to be his right-hand man.

Currently a first team coach alongside Tony Smith at Warrington, Poching will link up with the Robins at the end of the season on a one-year contract and says he can’t wait to get started at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

Speaking to Hull KR’s official website, the 41-year-old said: “It’s a very different challenge but one that I’m very excited about to help a new coach and come to a club that’s really ambitious off the field as well as on the pitch.

“I’ve known Chris for a while and I was excited when we had a chat. It was an easy conversation to have and I like his ideas and his philosophies with what he’s trying to do here.

“Hopefully I can have a positive influence and pass on some of my experience to him, as well as learning from Chris himself and the players.

“There’s some guys in this squad who have been around the block for a while and there’s some young players really looking to make a mark, so it’s a good mix and they’ll have a say as well.”

Poching enjoyed an illustrious playing career before turning his hand to coaching and represented both New Zealand and Samoa as well as having successful spells with Wakefield and Leeds in Super League.

After hanging up his boots in 2006, he was part of the coaching set-up at the Rhinos under first Tony Smith and then Brian McClennan, before going on to coach the Samoa national side. He would later follow Smith to Warrington where he has spent the past four seasons.

Helping to lead the Wolves to the League Leaders Shield in his first season, Poching was also part of the Warrington staff which won the Challenge Cup in 2012 and featured in last season’s Grand Final.

Head coach Chris Chester added: “Willie has learnt his trade under some very good coaches at some very successful clubs so we’re looking forward to what he will bring to Hull KR.

“He is very well thought of within the game and he’s got a lot of experience as both a player and a coach, so the input he will have into the culture at the club will be invaluable.

“I’ve known him since he first came over to the Super League with Wakefield and he has never lost his enthusiasm for rugby league. He’s a great person to have around the squad and he’ll have a big part to play in what we are trying to achieve here.”