English Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers have appointed Australian Willie Peters as their new head coach for 2023 on a three-year deal.
The 43-year-old will join the Robins after spending six years in the NRL as an assistant coach with Manly Sea Eagles, South Sydney and Newcastle Knights, where he has worked since 2020.
A former Souths and St George Illawarra halfback he played in England for Gateshead Thunder, Wigan and Widnes.
Peters will succeed Tony Smith, who announced a month ago that he would not be renewing his contract at the end of the season.
Hull KR chief executive Paul Lakin said: "From the first time we spoke to Willie it was clear that he understood the progress we have made under Tony, our philosophy on recruitment, the quality of our squad, the passion of our fanbase and how he could build and develop our team further over the next three years.
"Willie knows Super League well. He's a fan of the competition and he has six years NRL assistant coaching experience across three clubs with high-quality cultures, who have consistently reached the play-offs.
"He initially worked as a development coach and is clearly passionate about promoting youth at every opportunity, again a key discipline that we believe in as a club.
"Both former coaches and players who have worked with Willie spoke in such high regard of his coaching abilities.
"With Willie's significant coaching experience, his initial development coaching background and his clear understanding of the Super League game, we believe he is the ideal fit for Hull KR, to progress from the firm foundation stones set in place.
"It is vitally important that we make this announcement now to enable retention and recruitment discussions to happen immediately whilst we remain fully focused on the 2022 season."
Peters said: "I always had an ambition to go back and coach in the Super League. When the opportunity came up, it just felt right.
"I've got so many good memories of when I played in Super League, I'm just grateful for the opportunity and I can't wait to come back over there.
"I'm joining a team that's well established and definitely on the rise. I've worked with a number of quality coaches and taken a lot away from what their strengths are. But of course, I'm going to do it my way.
"We don't need to change too much in the way we'll play our footy. Naturally, I'll have my spin on things and some principles that I think are important."
"I've just got to build on the foundations that (owner) Neil (Hudgell), Paul, Tony and the staff have set on the back of their hard work. So for me, it's just about building on the great work people have done so far."
Australian Associated Press
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