McNamara cleared for Catalans role

Former England coach Steve McNamara has been released from his contract with New Zealand Warriors to become the head coach of Catalans Dragons.

McNamara left England after five years in charge of the national team in 2016 and was appointed Warriors assistant to Stephen Kearney for the current NRL campaign.

Catalans are looking for a new coach after sacking Laurent Frayssinous in May after five successive defeats, leaving them in danger of a bottom-four Super League finish.

Since the Frenchman's departure their fortunes have barely improved with heavy defeats to Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings and Huddersfield Giants - only a 23-18 victory over Hull FC lifting the mood.

They will hope McNamara will bring about an improvement in their fortunes and lift them away from trouble, and he is relishing the challenge.

"I love this club [the Warriors] and the people here but the opportunity to take up a head coaching role has suddenly become available," he told the club's official website.

"I can't thank the Warriors enough for their understanding and enabling me to take up this job as soon as possible."

For the Warriors it is a disappointment to lose Kearney's assistant but managing director Jim Doyle said they could not stand in the way of such an opportunity.

"We would have loved Steve to remain until the end of the season but we don't want to stop him being able to take up a position like this," he added.

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