Wakefield Trinity have announced that Francis Cummins and Mark Applegarth will become Willie Poching’s assistant coaches from next season.
Cummins (above) has previously worked with Poching at Leeds Rhinos and the 44-year-old also has experience as a head coach, having led Bradford Bulls from 2012 to 2014 and Widnes Vikings in 2018. Applegarth has been in post as Head of Youth at Trinity over the last four years.
On the appointment of Cummins and Applegarth, Poching said: “I am extremely happy to be able to bring Franny back into the game and to have someone of his experience and knowledge to support myself and the team. Having worked with him, I know all the qualities he will add to our team and the club as a whole.
“It also gives me great pleasure to be able to promote Mark Applegarth from within the club and to show our commitment to having a coaching pathway. He brings a wealth knowledge of our junior players and club systems and a hunger to work in coaching at the top level.”
Cummins said: “I’m really looking forward to joining up with Willie and Wakefield Trinity. Willie and I worked really well together during our time at Leeds and we have always had a similar approach to how we want the game to be played.
“I’m now just really excited to getting things started with Willie, Mark Applegarth and the rest of the staff, and I’m looking forward to contributing to Willie’s coaching provisions and to continue Wakefield’s improvement.”
Applegarth also shared his delight on his new role and said: “It will be fantastic to work with Willie. Francis and I can’t wait to get started.
“I was helping out a little last year and it will now be great to make that next step and coach with the squad full time.
“I will continue to oversee the youth system at the club along with Rodger Lambert, but my main coaching will now be with the first team and it’s something I’m really excited about.
“Willie is a genuine person who I have known since I was a kid at the club. He has great values and really cares about the players he works with. It will be great working with him and learning about the man-management of senior professionals and getting the best out of them.”