Ex-Hull KR coach bizarrely turns to UFC fighter for support at new club

Former Hull KR assistant coach Andrew Webster is now in what must be his dream job as he prepares to take the lead as an NRL coach at New Zealand Warriors.

The younger brother of former Hull KR star and coach as well as Wakefield Trinity coach Jamie Webster, Andrew joined the Rovers in 2006 alongside his brother but in the role of assistant coach.

He did then spend some time back in the NRL with Paramatta in 2008 prior to returning to Craven Park in 2009 – still Hull KR’s finest Super League season.

Following this, he would again return down under establishing himself as assistant coach at Wests Tigers after a spell with New Zealand Warriors. In 2017, he would have his first crack at leading from the front when Jason Taylor was sacked three games into the season.

It was a brief spell with Ivan Cleary appointed just 12 days later and in that time his stint was needlessly shrouded in controversy. Why? Webster attended a funeral of a close family friend but the media caught wind of it and that the friend had a criminal history.

Following Cleary’s arrival at Wests, Webster would follow him to Penrith and help mastermind the Panthers’ 2021 and 2022 NRL success. On the back of that and years of pedigree, he joins the Warriors as Head Coach and has already brought in former Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC boss Richard Agar to assist him.

However, he has bizarrely also turned to UFC flyweight star Kai Kara-France, to help gain an added advantage in the ruck.

“We’re helping the boys with wrestling to transfer onto the field for rugby,” Kara-France said on the Warriors’ website.

“We broke down kind of the science of what I do and how we can transfer it onto the field.

“It’s all about the mindset, resilience, and mental toughness where when things aren’t working out, we’re still in it, we’re still in the fight and we find a way.”

“Through technique and through training, that’s how we can build together and ultimately win a premiership.”

This follows the trend set by Cleary as well as what another ex-Penrith assistant starting his head coach career in the shape of Canterbury Bulldogs’ Cameron Ciraldo.

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