Six contenders to take over as Wakefield head coach

With Wakefield announcing the departure of head coach Chris Chester, Serious About Rugby League has compiled a list of those candidates who are most likely to take the reigns at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.

John Kear

Though his aims at Bradford are clear – to earn promotion – John Kear has been there and done that at Wakefield. Kear played for arch-rivals Castleford Tigers for ten years before stepping into coaching roles at Hull FC, Wakefield and Batley. And, having masterminded Challenge Cup success with Sheffield and Hull, there’s no reason why he couldn’t do the same with a more formidable squad at Wakefield. He knows the game superbly well, is incredibly passionate and would rejuvenate a stagnant Trinity side.

Willie Poching

The cheapest option – with no disrespect to Ryan Sheridan – would be to promote the assistant. Having been with Chester since September 2020 former forward Poching knows the ins and outs at Belle Vue which could either be a blessing or a nightmare. Perhaps Trinity need fresh blood after what will have been five-and-a-half seasons, but Poching must be wanting a top job sooner or later.

Andrew Henderson

With Andrew Henderson set to leave Warrington at the end of the season, a top job must soon be on the horizon. Having been linked with the Leigh job midway through 2021, that didn’t come to fruition but it doesn’t mean that Henderson should be ruled out of this one with it being all change at the Halliwell Jones. A known competitor with the desire to succeed, a move may rankle Castleford fans who loved the former hooker at the Jungle, but it may be time for Henderson to move on.

James Ford

James Ford has been tipped for the big time on many occasions, despite his first and only coaching job being York, where a 70% win rate has drawn the attention of top clubs. It may take a lot to persuade Ford to leave the Knights where he is on the way to building something special, but the pull of an established top-flight club could prove to be the tonic. The former three-quarter would bring a great deal of enthusiasm and youthful insight to Trinity, but it would be difficult to prove that he would be a success in Super League.

Danny Ward

Having been London boss since 2018, Danny Ward’s stock has risen considerably. He earned promotion in his first season, beating favourites Toronto 4-2 away from home. Though the Broncos were relegated from Super League in 2019 by points difference, Ward earned numerous plaudits for the way he got the capital club firing. It would be a risk for Wakefield considering how London played at the start of this season under Ward, but it is one that could pay off massively.

Brian McDermott

Really not given a chance to show his credentials with another Super League side given the demise of the Toronto Wolfpack, the former Leeds boss could be persuaded to return to management in the top-flight if Wakefield come calling. Boasting a CV that other coaches look at in envy, McDermott would certainly bring a trophy-winning pedigree to Belle Vue. It remains to be seen though if McDermott would cross the city to take charge of the Rhinos’ noisy neighbours.

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1 year ago

the above comment about Brian crossing the city is odd, as he is a Wakefield lad anyway, his brother Paul played for Trinity, so there is a connection there as well !