Simon Finnigan has left his post as assistant coach of Toronto to take up the head coaching vacancy at Newcastle.
Former Ireland international Finnigan made over 230 first-team appearances across Super League and Championship.
Finnigan went into coaching with Leigh Centurions after retiring as a player, and he moved to Toronto Wolfpack ahead of their debut season in 2017. His appointment at Newcastle comes on the back of Denis Betts joining Thunder as director of rugby earlier in March.
Betts said: “I’ve spoken to several people and that has shown that Simon is an ideal fit for Thunder both in terms of where we are at and the ambitions that we have as a club.
“He has a great deal of experience in both the Championship and League 1 and has earned a lot of credibility in his time with Toronto, working with a lot of good players in that time.
“He has played a leading role in that setup and wants to step up to become a head coach and that is an opportunity we can give him in an environment with ambitions that match his own.
“Coaching him as a player, I know him to be an enthusiastic guy and he will bring plenty of that into our club and the League 1 push this season.”
Finnigan will take his first training sessions this week with his first game at the helm coming on Sunday at home to Oldham.