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Hull FC finally confirm Tony Smith replacement as they hire new head coach

Hull FC John Cartwright

Hull FC have finally found their Tony Smith replacement with the club confirming the appointment of NRL assistant John Cartwright as their new head coach.

Talk of John Cartwright being appointed as head coach started to hot up down under with their overnight reports claiming that he had signed a three-year deal with the Super League side.

Cartwright has been out of head coaching for a decade, last leading Gold Coast Titans in 2014 after serving as the club’s first-ever head coach from their inaugural NRL campaign in 2007. Since then he has served as an assistant at a variety of clubs, joining current side Brisbane Broncos ahead of the 2021 campaign.

He’s now set to swap sunny Brisbane for Hull FC with the club confirming his appointment tonight via their social media and with a press release. Cartwright will link up with the Black and Whites at the end of the season and take charge ahead of the 2025 campaign.

Hull FC confirm new head coach for 2025

Hull FC new head coach John Cartwright

Credit: Getty Images

It has been almost six weeks since Tony Smith was dismissed from his role and there have been plenty more problems for the club with the latest being the loss to London Broncos, however, confirmation of Cartwright as their new head coach certainly looks to be a step in the right direction.

Hull FC confirmed the news with the following statement: “Hull FC are pleased to announce the appointment of John Cartwright as the club’s new head coach from the 2025 season.

“The 58-year old Australian will join the club from last season’s NRL Grand Finalists Brisbane Broncos, where he has held the position of assistant coach over the past three-and-a-half seasons, arriving in the UK ahead of the start of the Black & Whites’ pre-season campaign in the autumn.”

It’s a massive coup for Hull FC who had been fruitless so far in their bids to appoint a new head coach with Paul Rowley being the only confirmed men to be approached, but the Salford Red Devils head coach declined the offer.

Other names that had been linked featured Cartwright’s current colleague Lee Briers but the Englishman also seemed to be quickly ruled out, as was Brian McDermott and Adrian Lam after his new contract.

It seemed that the search could spiral on for longer but Hull FC have now landed their man and have confirmed when he will be arriving in England.

“Cartwright will see out the 2024 season with the Broncos and as well as his position with New South Wales before making the move to East Yorkshire later in the year.”

Who is John Cartwright?

Plenty of Hull FC fans will be excited about the fact there is finally an appointment, but they still may not know who Cartwright is. Earlier today Serious About Rugby League revealed all the information on the 58-year-old including his coaching path so far, his credentials and even about his playing stint in England.

Hull FC did similar as they introduced their new head coach to their faithful fans, explaining: “One of the most experienced coaches in the NRL, Cartwright has held numerous positions across the competition over the past two-and-a-half decades, most significantly with Gold Coast Titans for eight seasons between 2007 and 2014, and with Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys as part of their Minor Premiership and Grand Final winning sides in 2004 and 2015 respectively.

“Cartwright will also form part of New South Wales’ high performance team during this year’s State of Origin series under head coach Michael Maguire ahead of his move to the MKM Stadium.

“As a player, Cartwright enjoyed significant success as one of the finest back-rowers of his generation, making 186 appearances for Penrith between 1985 and 1996, which included winning the competition in 1991, and being named the Dally M Second-Rower of the Year in 1991 and 1992.

“Cartwright also enjoyed representative honours for New South Wales and Australia, with whom he was part of the 1992 Ashes winning series against Great Britain. He finished his playing days as captain of the Panthers, before a brief spell in the UK with Salford in 1997 where he would hang up his playing boots.”

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