Ex-Wigan Warriors, Widnes and Hull FC man Eamon O’Carroll makes shock Super League move

Eamon O’Carroll has found a Super League club after leaving his post as Newcastle Thunder head coach.

The former Ireland international, who recently turned 35, already worked alongside Steve McNamara as assistant coach from 2019 to 2020 and is set to return to the Catalans Dragons. He left the club to go back to England close to his family and was promoted Newcastle Thunder Headcoach.

He represented Wigan Warriors, Hull FC and Widnes Vikings in 149 Super League games, in a professional career that begun in 2005. He also earned six international caps for Ireland, playing in two Rugby League World Cup tournaments. Forced to retire through injury in 2017, he joined the Widnes Vikings coaching staff before signing for the Dragons.

O’Carroll was understandably happy to be reunited with the French club, saying: “I’m very happy to be back at the Dragons. It’s a huge honour to be able to help bringing the young players through. It’s a great job, it will be difficult but I am looking forward to meet the players and all the staff.”

Catalans Dragons boss Steve McNamara also waxed lyrical about the move, stating: “I am extremely happy that Eamon has returned to our club. His knowledge, work ethic and ability to connect with young men will ensure a quicker progression of our future players. He adds outstanding quality to our existing staff.”

O’Carroll resigned as head coach of Newcastle Thunder a month ago.

The 34-year-old joined the club in November 2020 ahead of its return to rugby league’s second-tier competition for the first time since 2009.

Making the move to Kingston Park following a two-year spell as an assistant coach at Catalans Dragons, O’Carroll renewed ties with the director of rugby Denis Betts who he started his coaching with at Widnes Vikings after retiring from playing through injury.

During his tenure at Kingston Park, O’Carroll successfully preserved the club’s Championship status following its initial elevation by application from Betfred League 1 before overseeing the assembling of its first full-time squad for over a decade.

The club also achieved several firsts under his stewardship, with a first-ever away win over Dewsbury Rams in 2021 and Workington in 2022 as well as a first-ever win over London Broncos back in May year.

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