Hull KR opt to appoint interim coach on a permanent basis

Chris Chester

It is often the case in rugby league that when a coach takes over at some point during the season, he is likely to be retained permanently for several years.

Such an instance has happened again, with Hull Kingston Rovers confirming that coach Chris Chester will be the club’s new permanent coach, signing a 3-year deal to remain in the role.

Chester, who is a former Rovers player and assistant coach, took over the role midway through the current season after the club parted ways with Craig Sandercock.

With the club impressed as to how he has performed in the role in recent weeks, a decision was made to appoint Chester as the full-time coach.

For Chester, coaching Hull KR is an honour and he looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead for him in the coming years.

“I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a dream come true for me and I’m going to do my utmost to get this side back to where it belongs,” said Chester.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to be the head coach of Hull Kingston Rovers and I want to put on record my thanks to the directors who have been fantastic with me over the past six weeks.

“It’s been a testing period with some ups and downs but I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity. I’ve not been afraid to make the big decisions, I’ve been honest with the players and they’ve been honest with me in return, so hopefully that will continue.

With the squad still coming together for next season, Chester’s focus is to finish the current season well.

“The squad is coming together for next season, we’ve signed some exciting outside backs and we’ve hopefully got some more signings to be announced, but we’re still very much focused on our goals this year,” said Chester.

“There’s six points up for grabs and we’ve got to make sure we finish the season strongly and as high up that ladder as we possibly can. Moving forwards, I think we’re better than just fighting for that eighth spot. We’ve struggled consistency wise this season and that’s something that as coaches and players we have to address.”

For the club, they were after someone that already knew what the club stood for and the ins and outs of it and someone like Chester fit the bill perfectly.

“It’s always been the plan to bring somebody through the ranks to one day take over as head coach and Chris has started very well in the role,” said Rovers CEO, Mike Smith.

“He is somebody who understands the club and the squad of players he will be working with, but more importantly he is a young British coach who is ready for this position and responsibility.

“Chris has served as assistant to two head coaches during his time with the club and he’s played at the highest level under some fantastic coaches as well.

“He’s learnt his trade and he’s very well respected within the game. The board had no hesitation in backing him with a three-year deal and I’m sure the fans will now join us in giving him their full support for the rest of this season and beyond.”

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