Stankevitch leaves Rochdale

Former head coach John Stankevitch has left his role as director of rugby at Championship 1 side Rochdale.

Stankevitch, 33, hit the headlines last season when he was handed a lifetime ban by the RFL following his refusal to pay a fine for abusing a match official, which was later overturned after payment was made.

A Super League winner with St Helens, Stankevitch stepped down as coach in August after three seasons in charge, moving to an off-field role.

He said: “I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the fans for their support over the past three years.

“It is correct that I have decided to move on and I want to make it absolutely clear that I didn’t make this decision lightly.

“It was a decision that I made in the last week and certainly wasn’t a long term consideration as I felt that the work that I had done in the last few months in my new role, had really begun to see the club moving forward off the field.

“I wish the club all the very best for this coming season and I genuinely hope that the coaching team and players are able to deliver Championship rugby.”

Hornets will be coach by St Helens reserve boss Ian Talbot next season, as part of a link up with the Super League outfit.

Chris Hough, who replaced Stankevitch in the head coach role for the last month of the 2012 season, has since left the club to play rugby union.

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