Newcastle Thunder confirm Chris Thorman as coach

Newcastle Thunder have appointed Chris Thorman as their new coach on a one-year contract.

It’s a move to his home city for the 42-year-old former England halfback, who left Workington earlier this month in the wake of relegation from the Championship.

The proud Geordie played junior Rugby League for Newcastle (now Wallsend) Eagles before emerging at Sheffield.

The ex-Huddersfield, London Broncos, Parramatta Eels and Hull star both finished his playing career at cut his coaching teeth at York before returning to Huddersfield as assistant coach to Paul Anderson in 2012.

He remained with the Giants until late 2018, having had a stint as caretaker coach earlier that year, and the following May, succeeded Leon Pryce at Workington, leading the Cumbrian club to promotion from League One last year.

Thorman’s arrival comes as Newcastle prepare to try to consolidate their place in the second tier amid a return to part-time status.

Former director of rugby Denis Betts took interim charge after the departure of Eamon O’Carroll in June.

Newcastle, who were elevated from League One for the 2021 campaign via a bidding process, went full-time ahead of this season.

But results have not been as encouraging as hoped, and they finished in twelfth place with 15 points from a possible 54.

“I’m looking forward to getting started,” he said.

“As a local lad I have always had a soft spot for the club, and it feels like now is the right time to come home and be part of something that a lot of people automatically assume I’ve been before.

“I am joining at a time where there is a fantastic opportunity to come in and be part of refreshing the club’s identity and creating something that will see players, staff and fans all band together and care about.

“There is a lot of work to be done, but I know from conversations I have already had with the powers that be that we are going to have a good squad for the 2023 season.”