Rugby League Cares have confirmed the appointment of former England and Great Britain player Gareth Ellis to a new role as Wellbeing Programme Manager.
Gareth, 42, joins the charity following a hugely successful playing career with Wakefield Trinity, Leeds Rhinos, Wests Tigers and Hull FC, where he has spent the last three years as Football Manager and assistant coach.
The two-time Super League grand final winner with Leeds, who also captained Hull to two Challenge Cup final wins at Wembley, will work alongside the wider RL Cares team on a wide range of welfare and health projects.
He will utilise his vast experience from a 20-year playing career to forge stronger links between RL Cares and players in Super League, Championship and League 1, as well as providing support to players who have made the move from England to the NRL in Australia.
Gareth will also develop new and existing relationships with the charity’s stakeholders.
“I’m very excited by this opportunity to work with such a great organisation and am looking forward to building on the success RL Cares has achieved over recent years, in terms of its support for both players and the wider rugby league family,” said Gareth.
“When I left Hull at the end of the season, the temptation was to take a completely different direction, but I quickly realised I loved the game too much and still had a passion to give something back.
“My new role with RL Cares enables me to do just that and it’s great to be part of such a fantastic team.”
RL Cares Director of Welfare Steve McCormack said: “There are few players who command as much respect both in the UK and Australia as Gareth and we are delighted he has joined us.
“We already have a terrific relationship with the playing community through our work with the dedicated club wellbeing managers, but Gareth’s appointment will allow us to take the support we offer players to the next level.
“He brings a wealth of experience from an exemplary professional career and will enhance the important work done by staff across the charity.”