Woolf has signed a two-year deal with St Helens, with the club having an option to extend his contract by a further year. He will begin his role with the League Leaders’ Shield winners from November 1.

Woolf has recently been handed his notice as the Tonga national team boss, while he has been interim coach of NRL side Newcastle Knights in recent months.

Saints chairman Eamonn McManus said: “We consider that Kristian is ideally qualified and placed to build upon the current success of the team and the club.

“He has the experience and expertise to bring the best out of our existing squad and to improve it further.

“We are very confident that the Saints will seriously compete for honours under his tenure and that we will continue to play attractive and exciting rugby league.”

Woolf added: “I’m excited and privileged to be joining St Helens as head coach.

“It’s something I have always wanted to do and it’s a great opportunity for me.

“St Helens is a club with an amazing history and I’m confident we can achieve great things together.”

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