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Legendary Super League player turned coach left in tears as he bids farewell

At the end of last season, Willie Poching and Wakefield Trinity parted company.

This was despite the fact he had fended off the threat of relegation and guided them to 10th place about Warrington Wolves.

Now Mark Applegarth is in the hotseat at Belle Vue with Wakefield.

But what next for Poching after his Wakefield departure.

Well speaking on Leeds’ YouTube channel recently, he revealed that he’s going back to NZ: “It’s an opportunity for us to go back and restart after 25 years of being here, taken a little and given a little back.

“We’re going to call in Australia and see my in-laws and then whilst in Brisbane I have some meetings organised and people to catch up with.

“When I get back to Auckland my brother-in-law coaches our local team and it’s his first season with a young side by all accounts, so I’ll go back and give him a hand.

“I’m going to do a little bit with my school, school rugby is massive so I’ll give back there.”

It is this Sunday he leaves and he appeared on BBC Radio Leeds in an interview with James Deighton in which he was left teary eyed.

“My wife put this montage together yesterday just of us and our kids and all the friends that we have made,” he said.

“Bloody hell JD,” he said as the tears began, “Just that, just knowing what we are leaving behind, all the friends we have made, all the amazing people that have touched us and been in our lives.

“You’re not blood family but you are family to us and that is why we will come back in a heartbeat to see everyone.”

However, speaking at Headingley on Sunday, Poching revealed he also has some meeting set for his return down under about potential jobs.

“When I go to Australia I have some meetings and conversations to have but there’s nothing concrete yet.

“I am going for family reasons but at some stage I am going to have to put food into the table.

“Yeah they’re staying over here to play. They were born in England so they’re English.

“It gives us a reason to come back doesn’t it? And when we do we’ll certainly get down to Headingley for a game.”

After the game Rohan Smith paid tribute to him and plenty of former players were in attendance to bid farewell.

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