James Ford's first words after swapping Wakefield Trinity for Featherstone Rovers

James Ford admits the offer of a new challenge was too good to turn down after leaving struggling Wakefield Trinity to become director of rugby at Featherstone Rovers.

In the newly-created role, Ford will support head coach Sean Long and the club's senior management with rugby operations.

Ford, who has given up his position as Wakefield assistant coach after only seven months at Belle Vue, joins Featherstone's fight for promotion to Super League.

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Rovers are the runaway leaders in the Championship after winning all 11 games so far this season.

“I’m so excited to take up this unique challenge," said Ford, who played for the club between 2003 and 2005.

"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.

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"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."

James Ford only joined Wakefield Trinity at the end of last year. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)James Ford only joined Wakefield Trinity at the end of last year. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
James Ford only joined Wakefield Trinity at the end of last year. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

Ford joined Trinity at the end of last season after ending his long association with York Knights, initially as a player before taking the head coach job in 2015.

He led the Knights to promotion as League 1 champions in 2018 before establishing the club in the top half of the second tier.

York reached the play-offs in 2019 and again last year when they beat Halifax Panthers to record a first-ever knockout win at Championship level.

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Ford was reunited with Mark Applegarth on Trinity's coaching staff following stints together at Wakefield College and York.

The former Knights boss leaves Wakefield with the club rock bottom of Super League after 12 straight defeats.

Featherstone chairman 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.

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"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 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."

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