Newcastle Thunder have announced Chris Thorman as the club’s new head coach.
Wallsend-born Thorman takes the reins after a four-season stint in charge of Workington Town and will lead the club as it embarks on its third consecutive season in the game’s second tier.
A former England international standoff, Thorman enjoyed a successful playing career that saw him play over 300 club-level games, the majority of which came at both Super League and NRL levels.
Beginning his back-room journey as a player-coach at York City Knights in 2012, Thorman took interim charge of Huddersfield Giants in 2018 between the tenures of Rick Stone and Simon Woolford.
It was a spell that saw Thorman guide the club to three wins and a draw, including a 25-22 win over Wakefield Trinity at the Newcastle’s Magic Weekend.
Taking over at Derwent Park in 2019 after the departure of Leon Pryce, Thorman guided Workington to promotion to the Betfred Championship in 2021 via the end-of-season play-offs.
Thorman joins Thunder on a one-year contract and will oversee preparations ahead of the pre-season in autumn.
Speaking on his appointment, Thorman said: “I’m delighted to be appointed the head coach at Thunder and I’m looking forward to getting started.
“As a local lad I have always had a soft spot for the club, and it feels like now is the right time to come home and be part of something that a lot of people automatically assume I’ve been before.
“I am joining at a time where there is a fantastic opportunity to come in and be part of refreshing the club’s identity and creating something that will see players, staff and fans all band together and care about.
“There is a lot of work to be done but I know from conversations I have already had with the powers that be that we are going to have a good squad for the 2023 season and that we can all look forward to that kicking off early in the new year.”
Newcastle Thunder chair Keith Christie added: “I am delighted that Chris has agreed to join the club as our new head coach, and I am looking forward to working with him.
“As one of only a handful of Geordies to play Super League and as far as I know the only one to play NRL, he has vast experience as a player that he is now using as a highly regarded coach.
“I am excited by his vision and from the conversations we have already had, I think he is going to help us create a club that is at the heart of the support in the region.”