St Helens part company with club legend Cunningham

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St Helens have parted company with head coach and club icon Keiron Cunningham.

Cunningham leaves his post with Saints seventh in Super League having made an inconsistent start to the season, drawing with Huddersfield Giants 14-14 on Friday having led 14-0.

"Keiron has been with the club for 24 years as man, boy, player and coach. The commitment that he has shown to the club throughout, and in every capacity, has been without equal," St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus said.

"It is both upsetting and disappointing for us all that it has ended at this point in time. Keiron nevertheless understands the position and, as a mark of the man that he is, wishes only well and good to the club, its players and everyone associated with it.

"His statue outside the ground is a deserved reflection of his immense contribution to the club. That is clear, obvious and permanent.

"We will now look to move the club forward and will immediately commence the search for a new head coach. St Helens is a world class club with a great squad of players and its only objective will be continuous success at the highest level.

"Assistant coaches Sean Long and Jamahl Lolesi will be joined by under 19s coach Derek Traynor to form an interim coaching team until a new head coach is appointed and in place."

Cunningham, who took over in 2014 having been assistant when Nathan Brown led Saints to a Grand Final triumph that year, guided the club to two Super League semi-finals and reached the last four of the Challenge Cup on one occasion.

He enjoys legendary status as a Saints player, having appeared in 496 games and won five Super League titles as well as the Challenge Cup seven times and the World Club Challenge twice.