Sam Burgess will take over at Warrington Wolves in 2024 replacing former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell.
It is a huge shock and an ambitious appointment but also a massive risk in the eyes of many.
Burgess is perhaps the best British player produced in the 21st Century but he hasn’t been a head coach and the Warrington Wolves job represents the first chance at a big job.
Fans have been divided on the matter with the lack of experience being a concern whilst some believe his character and leadership could carry them forward.
Now a former Warrington Wolves man Andrew Johns, alongside Greg Inglis, is the best example of the big stars the Wolves draft in, has had his say.
“I spoke to someone within the organisation, because I’ve talked to the owner of Warrington about Sam. He said his man management is first class, his communication is unbelievable, but he said he just commands respect,” he said on Channel Nine.
“He said he just goes to different players, players with big egos, players who sometimes don’t get told what they should be told and he just hits it between the eyes and they all take it because he’s revered.
“So I think Justin Holbrook was looking but he’s obviously got a young family and that was a big ask for him to move his family over there.”
Brad Fittler then said: “Well I think I was talking about it and he’s saying about the bloke from Newcastle, Lachlan Fitzgibbon is over there. He’s playing sensational. Dufty’s there, Paul Vaughan just went there.”
Johns is very confident in the move: “George Williams is half back, they’ve got a good team. But under Sam, they will reach the sky without a shadow of a doubt.
“He commands respect. He’s tough. He’ll train with them without a doubt. He keeps everyone accountable. He’s hard working. But he’s got that presence. The presence and respect.”
Burgess will join the Wire for the 2024 Super League season having agreed a two-year contract.
Following his retirement from a decorated playing career in 2019, Burgess has transitioned into the coaching set-up at South Sydney Rabbitohs, currently working as an Assistant Coach for the NRL side.
Burgess is one of the most renowned and respected leaders in the global game. The former England captain famously led the Rabbitohs to the 2014 NRL title, being awarded the Clive Churchill Medal despite suffering a broken cheekbone in the opening minute.
He represented England and Great Britain on 26 occasions during his playing career and captained the national team to the World Cup Final in 2017 under the stewardship of Wayne Bennett.
As part of the review of the Rugby department, Gary Chambers will be promoted to Director of Rugby. He will have an overarching responsibility for the Rugby department from first team downwards.
Chambers will remain in interim charge for the remainder of the 2023 season before taking up the new role.
Richard Marshall will remain as Assistant Coach with a further update about a second Assistant to be announced in due course.