Revealed: RFL allowed exception of rules to permit Sam Burgess appointment

Former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is being replaced at Warrington Wolves by Sam Burgess.

The former England and Great Britain international is taking on his first Head Coach job after a spell as assistant coach at South Sydney Rabbitohs.

This is why it is a controversial appointment to some and what is interesting is the fact the Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that the RFL has allowed an exception of their rules to allow the Wolves to appoint Burgess with him currently lacking the level three qualification required of Super League coaches.

Burgess will join the Wire for the 2024 Super League season having agreed a two-year contract.

Following his retirement from a decorated playing career in 2019, Burgess has transitioned into the coaching set-up at South Sydney Rabbitohs, currently working as an Assistant Coach for the NRL side.

Burgess is one of the most renowned and respected leaders in the global game. The former England captain famously led the Rabbitohs to the 2014 NRL title, being awarded the Clive Churchill Medal despite suffering a broken cheekbone in the opening minute.

He represented England and Great Britain on 26 occasions during his playing career and captained the national team to the World Cup Final in 2017 under the stewardship of Wayne Bennett.

As part of the review of the Rugby department, Gary Chambers will be promoted to Director of Rugby. He will have an overarching responsibility for the Rugby department from first team downwards.

Chambers will remain in interim charge for the remainder of the 2023 season before taking up the new role.

Richard Marshall will remain as Assistant Coach with a further update about a second Assistant to be announced in due course.

Sam Burgess said: “I’m pleased to confirm I will take on the role of Head Coach at the Warrington Wolves for seasons 24/25.

“From playing in the Super League to having the opportunity to lead an incredible club, it’s a full circle moment and one I am fully committed to and excited by.

“I want to thank Simon [Moran], Stuart [Middleton] and Karl [Fitzpatrick] at the Wolves for their courage and collaboration, as I look forward to returning to England to coach this great club.

“To Russell [Crowe], Blake [Solly], JD [Demetriou] and the stakeholders at South Sydney, thank you for supporting me in taking on this new position. We still have an opportunity to play some great football for the remainder of the year and to do so alongside our current staff and squad, is my focus.”

Warrington Wolves Chairman Stuart Middleton added: “We’re thrilled to have Sam join us as our new Head Coach.

“He is an impressive, young and determined coach with a huge reputation within the sport.

“He was a leader for both club and country at the highest level throughout his playing career and is extremely well-driven to now make his mark as a coach in Super League.

“The ambition he has for the club and the culture he wants to instil really impressed and stood out for us during the interview process. We firmly believe he is the right man to take the club forward.

“We’re delighted also that Gary [Chambers] has agreed to become the club’s Director of Rugby.

“As part of our review of the rugby operations we feel this new role will be strategically integral to both the short and long term vision of the club.

“Gary’s expertise and knowledge of the game, matched by his passion for the club, makes him the perfect fit. He is hugely respected by the players, staff and fans and I’m excited for him to lead the club forward alongside Sam in this next chapter.”