John Kear appointed new Widnes Vikings head coach

Drew Darbyshire
John Kear

Wales boss John Kear has taken over the coaching reins at Championship club Widnes, taking over from Simon Finnigan who was sacked in April.

The 67-year-old takes charge at the Vikings on a contract until at least the end of 2023 from July 1.

Kear will combine his role with Widnes alongside his position in the international game with Wales.

He has been without a job in clubland since parting ways with Bradford in April, having lost his job on the same day as Finnigan.

John Kear: I couldn’t turn Widnes job down

Kear said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“When I left Bradford I didn’t envisage returning to the game as quickly as I have but when this opportunity presented itself, and it is a great opportunity within a great club, it was just too good not to take up.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge, hopefully finishing the season well and building for 2023.”

Kear is a veteran coach in the British game, having taken charge of more than 400 games in his career.

The former Castleford player has an extensive coaching CV, having led Bramley, PSG, Sheffield Eagles, Hull, Wakefield, Batley and Bradford.

Kear is very experienced in the international arena, having previously coached England and France. He has been in charge of Wales since 2014. He coached England at the 2000 World Cup and Wales at the 2017 tournament.

The Yorkshireman has led two clubs to Challenge Cup glory. He masterminded Sheffield’s huge upset in 1998 when they defied the odds by beating heavy favourites Wigan at Wembley.

And in 2005, he guided Hull to Cup triumph. The Black and Whites produced an upset in Cardiff as they beat Leeds 25-24.

Kear’s first game in charge of the Vikings will be away at the Championship’s bottom-club Workington on July 3.