Wigan Warriors have today confirmed details of changes to the Coaching, Medical and Performance Departments at the Club. The changes will come into effect at the end of this season and see a combination of internal promotions and new staff joining the Club.
Within the Coaching Department Paul Deacon will take on more duties as he steps up to the role of Senior Assistant Coach in support of Head Coach Shaun Wane. Paul joined the Warriors Coaching Staff after retiring at the end of 2011 and has quickly proven his coaching credentials.
John Winder, formerly Head of Youth Performance and Under 19s Head Coach, will join the First Team coaching staff in the position of Assistant Coach. John has been with the Club since 2010 after returning from a three year spell with Melbourne Storm and he will support Shaun Wane and Paul Deacon in addition to helping younger players with the transition into the First Team environment.
To replace John, Matty Peet will step up from Assistant Youth Coach to Head of Youth. Matty is a well-respected young coach and has coached the Under 19’s for the majority of the 2014 season having been Assistant Coach in 2013.
In a massive coup for the Wigan Club, former Salford, Widnes and Swinton Head Coach and current Scotland Coach Steve McCormack joins as Youth Performance Coach. Steve has also recently worked as Head Coach at the University of Gloucester All Golds RL alongside his commitments with Scotland. Steve will also become part of the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation in the important position of Coach Education and Development Manager where he will work with coaches in the amateur and professional game to support their continued development.
Current Wigan Warriors player, Jordan James, also takes on a position of Youth Performance Coach.
Head of Strength & Conditioning, Mick Turner, and Head of Physiotherapy Services, Rebecca Hodgkiss, will leave the Club at the end of the season. Mick has been with the club since 2009 and served as part of Mark Bitcon’s team whilst Becky joined the club in 2006 working with Professor Chris Brookes.
Speaking on Mick and Becky’s departure, Rugby General Manager, Kris Radlinksi said: “Becky and Mick have been very important figures on the Club’s recent journey. They have contributed greatly to our recent successes and depart as lifelong friends of the Club. We wish them well in their new directions.”
Their departure sees promotion of personnel in the respective departments. Former Wigan and Bradford Bulls player, Paul Johnson, who is currently the Under 19s Strength & Conditioning Coach, will now take on the role of Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Warriors First Team under the Directorship of Head of Performance, Mark Bitcon.
In the Medical Department, Joanne Seddon has been promoted to the role of Head Physiotherapist after working as an Assistant Physiotherapist for three years, having joined from Widnes Vikings in 2012.
Current Assistant Physiotherapist and former Salford Reds and England International, Steven Blakeley, will also take on a more advanced position as Physiotherapist. Maria Stansfield joins the Club as Consultant Physiotherapist with a proven track record of working with elite athletes from rugby, athletics and boxing. She is well known to the Club having already worked with the Warriors on a number of occasions over the last four years.
Commenting on the new structure, Kris Radlinski said: “We are very proud of the new staffing structure throughout the Performance Department at the Club. It combines knowledge and experience with youth and enthusiasm. Throughout the structure, there are experts in their chosen field who are hungry to keep us ahead of our rivals.
“Whilst we have added a couple of new faces, we have also stuck to our policy of promoting from within when people are ready for progression. Although we are sad to be losing two very important members of staff in Mick Turner and Rebecca Hodgkiss, we look forward to the new challenges ahead with great excitement and optimism.”