Widnes Vikings have appointed Simon Finnigan as their new head coach.
Finnigan joins the club on a two-year deal and joins the club from ambitious League 1 side Newcastle Thunder, who he joined last year.
A former Widnes player during two spells, his coaching career saw him act as assistant coach to Paul Rowley at Leigh and Toronto, acting as the Wolfpack’s number two as they reached the Championship.
He subsequently joined Thunder and guided them to the League 1 play-off final last year.
He first played for Widnes in 2003 before a two-year spell between 2011 and 2012. He scored 30 tries in 105 appearances.
Finnigan takes over from Tim Sheens, who resigned last month.
“It is a massive honour,” he said.
“I feel privileged to get this opportunity and it obviously means a lot to me. Yesterday was 19 years to the day that I came over to England, and I have been in Widnes ever since. It is a privilege and an honour to be named head coach of the club.
“I have always had an association with Widnes, and I have got that history with the club. I live in the town, this is my home. When the opportunity came up it was something I wanted to do straight away because this club means a lot to me. I can see the project that all of us here at the club are working to achieve and it makes it a really exciting time to be a part of that moving forward.
“My message to the fans is to carry on as you have always done. I was lucky enough to play for you. They are a passionate group who always get behind the club through the good and bad times it is very much appreciated.
“I cannot wait to be walking out in front of our supporters again. I am excited to be back at the club and I am excited to play my part in front of the fans again.”