Sean Rutgerson succeeds Brian McDermott as USA head coach

The USA national team has appointed former Salford forward Sean Rutgerson as its new head coach, replacing Brian McDermott.

Rutgerson, 40, played 74 times for Salford between 2004 and 2006, and also played in the NRL for North Sydney Bears and Canberra Raiders.

He represented South Africa at the 2000 World Cup and moved to the USA following his spell at Salford, playing for Jacksonville Axeman in 2009, where he has also been coach for the past three years.

Leeds coach McDermott decided to leave the USA role following the end of his contract at the end of the 2017 World Cup, and he appointed Rutgerson as his assistant back in 2015.

Rutgerson said: “I’m really happy and excited to take over and am looking forward to a big year for the USARL.”

Rutgerson is tasked with getting a coaching and medical team together in preparation for the 2021 World Cup qualifiers later this year.

USARL chairman and director of coaching, Peter Illfield, said: “Sean was an accomplished NRL player at Canberra Raiders and English Super League player at Salford City Red.

“Immediate expectation for Sean is to recruit his management and support staff for international fixtures.

“Long-term expectations are to develop a suitable player selection process inclusive of domestic and heritage players, and development of an elite player program to raise the skills and fitness worthy of USARL representation.”

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