Hull KR coach Willie Peters explains decision to pen new long-term deal at Craven Park

Ben Olawumi
Hull KR coach Willie Peters Alamy

Hull KR head coach Willie Peters

Hull KR head coach Willie Peters has penned a new long-term deal with the club running until the end of the 2028 season, and says his family’s happiness paired with the opportunity which lies in front of him drove the decision.

Australian Peters, who played for Gateshead Thunder, Wigan Warriors & Widnes Vikings in this country during his playing days, took the reins at Craven Park ahead of last season.

In his first year at the helm, the 45-year-old led KR to the Challenge Cup final at Wembley and guided them into the Super League play-off semi-finals after a 4th place finish, where a defeat away against eventual champions Wigan was all that denied the Robins a first-ever trip to Old Trafford.

The Sydney native’s original contract was due to expire at the end of next season, but three years have now been added on top of that.

Hull KR coach Willie Peters explains ‘easy’ decision to pen new long-term deal at Craven Park

KR currently sit 5th in the Super League table, winning seven of their first 11 this term including memorable home wins against both Wigan & St Helens.

This weekend, Peters will look to make history repeat itself as the Robins face Wigan in the Challenge Cup semi-finals for the second year running having beaten the Warriors at this stage in the same competition last July.

And in the build-up to this weekend’s last-four clash at Doncaster’s Eco-Power Stadium, having put pen to paper on this new long-term deal, the Australian explained his decision.

In KR’s press release, he said: “It was an easy decision to extend my time at Hull KR. As soon as I walked through the doors, I knew it was a special club with great people and great personalities amongst our playing group.

“For me personally, my family being happy was key. My wife and children are extremely happy in England. My boys have settled into school, and they’ve all bought into the journey that we’re on.

“With what we’re doing on and off the field at Hull KR it’s an exciting opportunity. The staff and players have worked extremely hard over the last 18 months and now the team have certainly got an identity as a team and a DNA of what a Hull KR performance looks like.

“The goal that I had and what I continue to have is to make our community proud, for the team to make the community proud and that’s not just on field, but off it too.

“Once you’ve got everyone sharing the same vision, great things happen off the back of that.”

Robins chief Paul Lakin ‘delighted’ to see Peters extend stay at Craven Park until 2028

Though he didn’t take charge until the start of the following season, Peters’ appointment was confirmed by the Robins back in May 2022, the man chosen to succeed fellow Australian Tony Smith.

This was – and is – Peters’ first head coach gig in the senior game having acted as an assistant at three clubs over in the NRL. Among the main men choosing him as Smith’s successor at KR was Chief Executive Paul Lakin.

Speaking two years on about Peters’ contract extension, Lakin added: “Whilst Willie was in Australia, I remember talking to him about coming over to join us, and sensed then that this guy works on another level.

“We knew that if we as a board could get the right support around him, we could create a culture that is required to challenge for, and ultimately win trophies.

“Willie’s work ethic, his understanding of all aspects of the club from marketing to finance, and our stakeholders including our unbelievable fans, have allowed us to create an enviable ‘one team, one club’ environment that continues to evolve.

“Over the last two years we have really matured as a team on the pitch. Willie, his excellent coaching and leadership of his back room support staff have instilled a DNA that we expect to continue to grow, and enable us to meet our aspirations.

“It goes without saying therefore that we are delighted to extend Willie’s contract through to 2028.”