Darren Fisher, head coach of Spain’s national men’s rugby league team, has stood down after close on six years in post, which has seen the sport make significant strides in the country.
Fisher took charge of Spain in their first-ever men’s international in 2014 – a 12-10 win over Belgium, led them to victory in 2015’s European Championship C and, last month, was one game away from qualifying them for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
He said: “It’s been a rollercoaster with plenty of emotional days. We started rugby league in a new nation and at the beginning didn’t even have a ball. I’m very proud of what we have achieved and my greatest satisfaction is knowing this sport has changed people’s lives for the better. During my time I’ve delivered in schools, run coaching clinics throughout the country and coached the youth team. I gave my all into making sure that the foundations were properly built and now my successor can take it to the next level. I’ve had a fantastic journey and met lots of wonderful people. I’d to thank all the players, staff and everyone involved in Spain Rugby League and wish them the very best for the future.”
Espana RL president Tony Palacios noted: “Darren has left a very important mark on rugby league here which will not be forgotten as we move forward to a new chapter. He was a key driver in Spain making great progress. To us he was a friend and a member of the Spanish rugby league family and the results have proved his merits. For everything we say thank you.”
Chris Thair, RLEF general manager added: “Darren leaves a great legacy in Spain having been at the helm for 19 internationals. He has moved them through the tiers of competition in Europe and undertaken a great deal of sacrifice to achieve that. The RLEF wishes to place on record our thanks to Darren for his time, dedication and considerable skill and I’m sure this won’t be last we see of him in the sport.”