James Webster departs Featherstone amidst Brian McDermott rumours

James Gordon
James Webster led Featherstone Rovers to 1895 Cup success

Featherstone have confirmed head coach James Webster has left the club by mutual consent.

Webster, 42, led Rovers to the Championship Grand Final, where they lost to Toulouse, and also won the 1895 Cup at Wembley.

He took over ahead of the 2020 season, having previously had spells in charge at Wakefield and Hull KR.

His contract was set to expire later this month and the Australian has taken the decision to focus on his studies and lecturing work at Leeds Beckett.

Reports earlier this week suggested that Super League’s most successful coach, former Leeds boss Brian McDermott, was set to take over at the Millennium Stadium.


Chairman Mark Campbell said: “I had been talking with James throughout the season about extending his contract for the 2022 season.

“So (I) was shocked, when at the 11th hour in the season he advised me that due to his personal commitments, he didn’t want to coach in Super League if the Club were successful in the Grand Final.

“Throughout my leadership of the Club, I have had the sole burning ambition of Featherstone Rovers achieving its Super League goal, so I have had no alternative but to decide to look for other alternatives who share the same drive.

“James’s legacy at the Club will be an extremely successful Centenary year where we won the 1895 Cup and came so close to achieving our Super League objective.

“I thank him for all his efforts, we will redouble our efforts to make sure we stand the best possible chance of achieving our goals.”

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Former Bradford forward McDermott won four Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and a World Club Challenge during his time as coach at Leeds.

He has most recently spent time with Oldham in an advisory capacity, following the demise of Toronto Wolfpack.

No comment has yet been made on the speculation linking the 51-year-old with the Featherstone job.