Betfred Championship: James Webster takes up reins at Featherstone Rovers within a week of coach Ryan Carr’s exit

New Featherstone Rovers coach, James Webster. PIC: James Hardisty/JPIMedia
New Featherstone Rovers coach, James Webster. PIC: James Hardisty/JPIMedia
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FEATHERSTONE ROVERS have confirmed James Webster as their new team boss.

It is the 40-year-old Australian’s first appointment as a head-coach since a spell in charge of Wakefield Trinity four years ago.

Former Featherstone coach, Ryan Carr. PIC: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia

Former Featherstone coach, Ryan Carr. PIC: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia

Webster left his position as assistant-coach at Hull KR last week and will replace Ryan Carr who stepped down from the hot seat after guiding Rovers to this year’s Betfred Championship Grand Final.

The former Hull KR half-back has signed a two-year contract and is Rovers’ third coach in less than a year after John Duffy quit the club last November to join fierce rivals Leigh Centurions.

“I am really honoured and excited to become head coach of such a progressive club as Featherstone,” Webster said. “I have always enjoyed going to Post Office Road as an opposing player or coach and can’t wait to sample the atmosphere on the other side of the fence.”

Webster takes over a club in buoyant mood after finishing fifth in the table and getting to within 80 minutes of promotion through the play-offs.

“Obviously the play-off series was extremely exciting for all involved,” Webster added. “I thought the level of away support was fantastic and shows the passion within the club. I can’t wait to get back into pre-season.”

Rovers chairman Mark Campbell believes Webster can take Rovers forward.

He said: “We welcome James to the club as the new head coach and we are extremely fortunate he has become available at just the right time.

“I have followed James’ coaching career for a number of years and the experience he has both in the Championship and Super League, plus all his contacts both here and over in Australia, will prove invaluable.

“Myself, Davide [Longo, Rovers’ chief executive] and Steve [Gill, general manager] can’t wait to get working with James on the final tweaks to our squad for what should be another exciting season.”

Webster began his coaching career in 2010 as assistant to then-Hull boss Richard Agar, who he also worked with and eventually replaced at Wakefield.

He was also assistant to Tim Sheens and Tony Smith at Hull KR as well as having a spell there as interim-coach.