SALFORD, United Kingdom — Former Toronto Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley was named head coach of the Salford Red Devils on Friday.
Rowley, a former England hooker, was the Wolfpack's first coach. He helped the transatlantic rugby league team win promotion to the second-tier Betfred Championship in its inaugural 2017 season.
Rowley left the club the next year after it fell short of promotion to the top-tier Super League, losing a promotion showdown to the London Broncos.
Salford (7-15-0) finished 11th in the 12-team Super League this season. Salford coach Richard Marshall left the club at the end of the season.
Rowley joined Salford in 2019 as a coaching consultant, taking the new position of head rugby development, talent and pathways, earlier this year. Prior to Toronto, he was head coach of Leigh Centurions between 2012 and 2016, winning Championship coach of the year in his first season in charge and winning the Championship twice.
“I’m excited for the challenge," Rowley said. "I’m refreshed from having a break from coaching.
“I want to lift standards at the club throughout and create a different environment — one that walks a little bit taller. I want our players to understand what being a Salford player is about, both on and off the pitch.”
Rowley has brought on former Wolfpack assistant coach Kurt Haggerty to serve as assistant head coach. Haggerty joined the Leigh coaching staff in January 2021, taking over as interim head coach in June.
Haggerty worked in Toronto under Rowley and Brian McDermott, who took the Wolfpack to the Super League after the 2019 season. Toronto stood down in July 2020, saying it could not afford to play out the remainder of the pandemic-disrupted 2020 season.
Super League clubs voted last November not to readmit the franchise under new ownership.
McDermott was named coach of Championship side Featherstone Rovers on Oct. 25.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2021
The Canadian Press