Danny Ward is Hull KR’s new assistant coach, penning a two-year deal to return to Craven Park from 2024 having departed Castleford Tigers after guiding them to Super League survival.
The 43-year-old took charge at the Jungle with six games left of the season, beating relegation rivals and near neighbours Wakefield Trinity in his first game at the helm, with another two points picked up with a home victory against Hull FC.
Those four competition points were enough to secure Cas’ survival at Wakefield’s expense, and the expectation en masse was that Ward would be handed a more permanent contract to become the Tigers’ head coach in 2024.
Instead, as we understand it, the Dewsbury-born chief rejected a contract offer from the Fords, who in turn promoted his assistant Craig Lingard up to number one in the dugout.
Lingard will be assisted by Danny McGuire in 2024, with the Leeds Rhinos legend departing his number two spot at Hull KR to take up that new role.
Now, in the ever-revolving door, Ward has been confirmed as heading in the opposite direction to fill the void left by McGuire at Craven Park. He re-joins KR, a club for whom he made 21 appearances for as a player in the 2007 campaign.
Danny Ward re-joins ‘a club on the up’ in Hull KR, becomes assistant at Craven Park from 2024
The former London Broncos boss will provide his knowledge and expertise to Robins head coach Willie Peters next term, and providing all goes well, the year after.
That pair will be joined in the dugout by Dave Hodgson and George Delaney as well as the newly-retired Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who assumes a coaching role within the East Hull outfit’s youth setup.
On his return to Craven Park, Ward told their club website: “It’s great to be back. I had a good time when I played at Hull KR. It’s the clubs that you’ve been involved with before that seem to hold a special place in your heart, and I can’t wait.
“It’s a club that’s doing fantastic things on and off the field. Willie is a really good bloke first and foremost. Our chats seemed to flow as we spoke about rugby, life and everything straight away.
“I’m all about working with good people, getting on, and building relationships with people. If you’ve got that from the start, whether it’s players or staff, it’s the key to success.
“I’ve always been about getting the right people involved, and that came across straight away through chatting with Willie. KR have had a great year, as a playing group, and you also see with the gradings that came out from IMG that Hull KR are a club on the up.
“I want to be a part of that and help them continue pressing forward. It’s an exciting time, I can’t wait to get going.”
Robins head coach Willie Peters praises new number two Danny Ward
In his first year at the helm, Australian KR chief Peters guided the club to a first Challenge Cup final since 2015 as well as a 4th-place finish in Super League and a run to the play-off semi-finals, beaten only by eventual champions Wigan Warriors.
He added: “We’re delighted to have Danny on board next season. We’re getting a quality person and a very experienced coach in Danny with plenty of rugby league knowledge.
“Danny has had head coaching roles at London and Castleford, and with that has gained valuable experience at the top of the game. Danny chose to come to Hull KR, which says a lot about where the club’s at, and also says a lot about Danny and his intentions for what he wants to do here.
“Danny’s role will specifically be focused on our defence along with Brett. With that, we have two guys who have been there and done it at the highest standard in Super League.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them both take our defence to a new level in 2024.”