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Leigh appoint Cunningham as Head of Rugby

St Helens sack Cunningham

Leigh Centurions have appointed Keiron Cunningham as the club’s new Head of Rugby until the end of the season.

He will assist Head Coach Neil Jukes as the club aim to maintain their Super League status after a damaging defeat to Hull KR yesterday.

Cunningham, who was sacked as St Helens boss earlier in the year, replaces Derek Beaumont in the role with the Leigh owner looking to freshen things up.

Beaumont explained his decision: “I said earlier in the season that if I was going to replace anybody in the coaching department it would be myself as with my business commitments I am currently unable to properly fulfil my role as Head Of Rugby and give Neil Jukes the support he needs and deserves. At this time of year I am away in Hull for four weeks at a trade exhibition.

“Kieron has substantially more experience than myself and I feel his appointment will bring in someone with a fresh pair of eyes and a different approach as well as a different voice around the place to freshen things up.

“I believe Keiron is deal for this role having been a great attacking player throughout his career and then having successfully gone into the coaching ranks.

“I still have the utmost confidence in Neil Jukes any my coaching team and their ability to achieve our goals which I believe will be increased by Keiron’s presence.

“Keiron will join the coaching team from tomorrow. I must stress this is something that has not arisen off the back of losing to Hull KR, but was something I’ve been considering for a while.”

On his new role, Cunnigham said: “I have not come in to take anyone’s place, but to add my knowledge and experience as this stage of the season. I get on well with Jukesy and he is a good friend while I have worked with Kieron Purtill in the past. I clashed heads with Cookey (Paul Cooke) and played with Ando (Paul Anderson) at Saints.

“Derek has brought me in to ease the burden on Neil and bring my experience to Leigh Centurions. Hopefully I will bring a new set of eyes and structures and I’m delighted to have been given this opportunity.”

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