Tony Rea leaves London Broncos

London Broncos have parted company with head coach Tony Rea.

Rea, 47, returned to the club in July 2012, eventually succeeding Rob Powell as head coach, having previously spent seven years at the Broncos up to 2006.

Chairman David Hughes said: “Tony was instrumental in saving the club. In hindsight maybe it was far too late but we did save the club. So it’s a big thank you to him for assembling the squad and putting us in a position to go forward.

“We’re about halfway through out season and it was always intended that Joey would take over as head coach towards the end of this year and certainly for next year. He has agreed to do that.

“We thank Tony of course, not just for the last two seasons, when he came back from Australia to help us out, but for his work with the club in the past, which everyone is aware of. We wish him good luck in his future plans and business activities.”

They remain winless in 2014, and hit the bottom of the Super League table at the weekend, courtesy of Bradford’s win over Warrington.

London’s off-season was overshadowed by uncertainty surrounding the clubs future, before eventually securing a move to The Hive Stadium, and as a result, Rea was forced in to recruiting almost a full squad at very short notice ahead of the new season.

The Australian is set to be replaced by assistant coach Joe Grima.

Rea said: “It was always intended that I wouldn’t be here next year. The troubles of the recent past have been well documented and they took a lot of dealing with but we got the club up and functioning. We’ve had a difficult start to the season but that’s about to change.

“In planning for the future, both short and long term, we thought it was best for all of us, the club and myself, that we give Joey the opportunity to take the club on.

“I would like to thank everyone. I feel we’re going to have a great back half of the season and part of me is disappointed not to be a part of that but I also accept that it’s the best thing to do.”

Grima, who played and coached at Parramatta for 19 years, was assistant coach to Ricky Stuart at Cronulla for three years.

He joined the Broncos from St George-Illawarra, where he had been assistant coach, and will be free to form his own coaching team at the club.

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