Craig Lingard in shock Keighley departure

Keighley have parted company with head coach Craig Lingard.

Lingard, 41, was in his third season with the Cougars having stayed loyal to the club following a turbulent winter during which players and staff had gone unpaid.

That meant starting the season on minus 12 points, and they are just one point away from wiping out that deduction after eight games of the season.

A club statement said: “Keighley Cougars this evening have announced that they have parted company with head coach Craig Lingard.

“The club felt that it was unable to offer him a further extension to his contract, feeling that the time had come to look elsewhere in order to take the club forward.

“The club is very grateful for Craig’s contribution, often in very difficult circumstances, and he will remain a very popular figure at the club.

“Chairman Mick O’Neill described Craig as a true gentleman and said it was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make.

“A successor will be appointed in due course but in the interim, assistant coach Rhys Lovegrove and head of strength and conditioning Paul Royston will take charge of first team matters, overseen by Gary Moorby as head of rugby.”

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