Leigh Centurions have appointed former Wakefield and Hull KR boss Chris Chester as head of rugby, to support Kurt Haggerty as interim head coach.
Chester’s most recent role, at Trinity, ended in August, when he parted company with his hometown club, having twice led them to top-five finishes.
The 42-year-old, who took KR to a Challenge Cup final in 2015, joins a Leigh side relegated in 2021.
“This is a role that really excites me,” Chester said.
“Leigh Centurions is a big club and with the restructure plans for the game of rugby league there are exciting times ahead for this club.
“Since leaving Wakefield I’ve had time to reflect and recharge my batteries and this role gives me an opportunity to build something really strong.
“I will get the right people involved, as players and staff, to ensure the club fulfils its great potential.
“There are still plenty of players available, both here and overseas and so we have the opportunity to make quality additions to the group of players that are already contracted for next year.”
In addition to his coaching career, Chester was a Challenge Cup winner with Hull FC as a player, and also represented Halifax, Wigan and Hull KR.
Owner Derek Beaumont addressed the situation with interim boss Haggerty, who took on the role of coach after the mid-season departure of John Duffy.
“When I spoke with Kurt initially about the proposed NRL appointment [a coach Beaumont wanted to bring over], he was disappointed and felt that he could succeed with a strong head of rugby supporting him,” he said.
“Having had lengthy discussions with Chris about various aspects I am fully confident that I can give him full autonomy to make the right decisions over the whole rugby department from coaches and backroom staff to the recruitment of players and to deal with all matters rugby related.”