Ian Watson and Danny Ward appointed Great Britain assistants

Ian Watson and Danny Ward have been appointed as Wayne Bennett’s assistant coaches for the return of Great Britain this autumn.

Salford boss Watson earned a record 30 caps for Wales before moving into coaching. The Red Devils currently sit fifth in the Super League table.

London chief Danny Ward won a solitary Great Britain cap against New Zealand in 2004, and moved into coaching the Broncos in 2014. He took over as head coach in 2018, guiding the capital club to promotion into Super League from the Championship.

Both were interviewed by Bennett last week and they will now be involved in the player selection process throughout the summer before a Great Britain Performance Squad is announced in September.

Watson said: “I was honoured to play so many times for Wales, and I’m delighted that the Great Britain team has been reformed, so it’s a privilege to have this chance to be involved on the tour.

“There is a great history of Wales players and coaches being involved with the rugby league Lions, and I’ll also be representing Salford who have given me such a great opportunity in coaching.”

Ward added: “It was an incredible honour to represent Great Britain as a player, and I’m absolutely buzzing to be a part of the plans for this year.

“I’m really grateful to David Hughes at London Broncos for giving me the opportunity, and to everyone at the club, especially the players. I think it’s great for Rugby League in London that we’ve got this recognition with an involvement in the GB tour.”

Rugby Football League rugby director, Kevin Sinfield, commented: “We are delighted to have Ian and Danny on board for the Great Britain tour.

“They both struck up an immediate rapport with Wayne Bennett at interviews last week – as well as having proved themselves excellent coaches in their work with Salford and London over the last couple of years, they are also great personalities to add to the tour, both with first-hand knowledge of the special challenges and opportunities of international Rugby League.”

The Lions will face New Zealand twice, Tonga and Papua New Guinea in the southern hemisphere this autumn.

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