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Five contenders to be Featherstone Rovers’ next coach after ex-Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott’s departure

Yesterday saw the somewhat unsurprising news that Brian McDermott had resigned from his post as Featherstone Rovers boss.

This was not unsurprising because of the standard of coach McDermott is, as Super League’s most successful coach with four Grand Final wins to his name, he is in the elite class.

However, it did not come as a shock after his Rovers side were denied a place in the Million Pound Game with Super League rugby on the cards when they were stunned by Batley on Sunday in the Championship semi-finals.

After pouring so much into this season and expecting promotion, it was the last result anyone expected and now the Rovers will have to look in a new direction if they are to fulfil their Super League ambition.

So, who will be their next coach? Here’s five contenders:

Danny Ward
Considering their objective to make their Super League debut, bringing in a man who defied the odds to take London to Super League would be a smart appointment. Danny Ward worked wonders at London on a limited budget and the Broncos were unlucky to be relegated in 2019. Ward could make a massive impact at Post Office Road especially if backed financially as McDermott was. He’s a positive force for a club that needs it right now and is brilliant at developing players. Just look at the likes of Jordan Abdull and you will see.

Willie Poching
Willie Poching has just left his post at Wakefield but if he’s keen for a quick return then Fev may be the place for him. Poching changed things at Trinity in 2021 and had them finishing the season really strongly against the likes of Leeds and Hull KR who were in the play-off mix. In 2022, he did the same even beating Wigan to help Trinity avoid relegation and climb to an unlikely 10th place finish. It was always going to be tough at Wakefield but the lessons he learnt there could make him an ideal candidate at Fev.

Danny Orr
Danny Orr has just left his role at Salford with Head Coach Paul Rowley admitting he wished he could stay but considering he commutes from Castleford every day, it was going to be tough for the Red Devils to keep him. This means that a move to Featherstone would be ideal considering how local it is. Further, it may be the perfect chance for him to take on a Head Coach role. He’s widely regarded for developing offence as an assistant coach and to see him introduce his philosophies at Featherstone could be the key to getting them promoted.

Craig Lingard
McDermott resigned because he couldn’t get Featherstone to the Million Pound Game, so maybe Fev should look to the man who guided Batley there at Featherstone’s expense. It’s a surprise no Super League club has called upon Lingard yet so Featherstone would be ahead of the curve if they were able to tempt him to Post Office Road.

Sean Long
Like Danny Orr, Long is seemingly set to conclude his time as an assistant at a Super League club in the shape of Leeds Rhinos. Long, like Orr, has been credited for what he can do to a team’s attack so it would certainly be an exciting appointment and one that would enable Long to have his first shot at being a Head Coach.

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