The next assistant coach likely to make the step up to being a Super League head coach following the likes of Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos and St Helens

MAKING the step up from assistant coach to head coach is by no means an easy feat.

It takes a number of years of studying and adapting different structures and styles to become the best of a generation.

Whilst some coaches sometimes fail to make it to the big time, others make a name for themselves, winning trophies and adulation along the way.

There have been some excellent assistant coaches that have made it all the way to the top and Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos and St Helens have all followed that path in recent seasons.

KR have appointed former Newcastle Knights assistant Willie Peters as their head coach from 2023 onwards following the departure of Tony Smith.

Leeds brought in Rohan Smith who, granted was head coach of Queensland Cup side Norths Devils, but has had considerable experience as an assistant for the likes of Sydney Roosters and the Newcastle Knights whilst St Helens have appointed Paul Wellens in place of Kristian Woolf.

Wellens, of course, was assistant to both Justin Holbrook and Woolf, learning from the very best and has been tasked with the job of making it five Grand Final successes in a row.

Looking at the current crop of assistant coaches in Super League, there are a few names that stand out who may became a Super League head coach in the near future.

James Ford at Wakefield Trinity has been plying his trade in the Championship for a number of years, however, there is one name that stands out and it is Andy Last.

Currently assistant to Lee Radford at the Castleford Tigers, Last has some limited experience as a head coach of Hull FC when, ironically, Radford was given his marching orders back in 2020.

That year, Last steered the Black and Whites to a play-off spot, breaking the hoodoo of the second-half season slump which has plagued FC for the last few years.

Having been involved in the England set-up as well, Last’s CV has been burgeoning whilst his intelligence and demeanour already shows that of a head coach-in-waiting.