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Super League assistant joins Championship club after just six months in job

Featherstone Rovers have made the shock announcement that they’ve recruited James Ford to their Director of Rugby role.

Ford had previously coached York Knights and was part of the youthful coaching takeover at Wakefield Trinity, joining Mark Applegarth as his assistant coach.

That was announced during the off-season after Willie Poching’s departure but not even half-way through the Super League season Ford has left Belle Vue, and will again return to the Championship.

This time though it’s not the LNER Stadium he will work from but instead the Millennium Stadium with Featherstone.

The Championship leaders have created the new role of Director of Rugby for Ford to take on,

A statement from Rovers’ website announced the news.

“Featherstone Rovers have today appointed James Ford to a newly created Director of Rugby role at Featherstone Rovers

“The primary purpose of the role will be to support Head Coach Sean Long to prioritise on-field coaching and to support the club’s senior management with the administration and management of the club’s rugby operations”

Mark Campbell said: “We’re delighted to welcome James to this newly created role.  We’re currently in a position where we’re planning extensively for the next phase in this club’s evolution both on and off the field.  This role creates greater capacity for the coaching staff to continue to develop an exciting and successful brand of rugby whilst also allowing myself, and the board more time to plan strategically for the club’s very exciting future.”

“James will lead on recruitment plans, and will ensure that we maximise the investments we are making in our playing squad and off-field team. We need to ensure this season that we leave no stone unturned in driving our promotion challenge forward and James will play an integral part in supporting Sean and the rest of the team in delivering this.”

Ford, a local man played for Featherstone between 2003-2005 and made his name as a coach at York before moving on to join Wakefield Trinity’s coaching staff last year.  Ford has a track record of performing at a consistently high level and guided York from League 1 into the Championship and into a position of being genuine league and cup contenders.

James Ford added: “I’m so excited to take up this unique challenge, I was attracted to this challenge of working with Featherstone in a new role as everything seems to be progressing very well on and off the field. I understand the ambitions of the Board and I want to support Sean Long and the players in adding value to what is already a very strong team. I want to support Sean and the whole club in driving forward our standards and paying attention to every detail of preparing us for a very bright future.”

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