Newcastle Thunder head coach steps down for Super League role

Newcastle Thunder’s Eamon O’Carroll has resigned as head coach of the Championship side to take up a role with a Super League club.

O’Carroll joined Newcastle ahead of the 2021 season, leading them to an eleventh place finish in his first campaign.

Thunder are currently tenth in the Championship table after five wins from their first 15 matches since transitioning to a full-time model, but will now be searching for a new coach.

The club say O’Carroll, a former Wigan Warriors, Hull FC and Widnes Vikings player, is “set to take up a new role with a Super League side in the near future”.

O’Carroll said: “It has been a real privilege to be the head coach of a club and to see the change from the first day that I came into where the club is now is fantastic and I know it is only going to get better.

“I think we have built something special, and the exciting thing is that the club are looking to add quality people as well but I’m looking forward to taking a step back now and watching as a fan and seeing the club grow and develop because I know it will.”

Director of rugby Denis Betts, who will take interim charge of Newcastle alongside assistant coach Michael Heap, added: “Eamon joined us at an exciting time for the club as we prepared for its return to the Championship, and he has been a driving force in making sure we have progressed during his time with us.

“He has created a positive training environment where players and staff are able to thrive and feel welcome and has moved the club forward from when he joined us.

“I am of course disappointed that he has decided to leave but understand the reasons and wish him nothing but the very best of the future.”