Rugby League: Saints appoint Roosters assistant Holbrook as head coach

Justin Holbrook has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal to take the top job with Super League side St Helens.

St Helens have appointed Sydney Roosters number two Justin Holbrook as their new head coach.

Saints sacked club legend Keiron Cunningham last month after a disappointing start to the Super League season.

Australian Holbrook, also head coach of the Junior Kangaroos, has agreed a two-and-half-year deal to take the top job at the famous Merseyside club.

Saints expect the 41-year-old to arrive in England as soon as possible as he awaits a visa. Jamahl Lolesi and Sean Long, who had taken temporary control of the first team along with Under-19s coach Derek Traynor, will remain on the staff.

"We are delighted to secure Justin; he is widely experienced and has a track record of coaching at the highest level," Saints chief executive Mike Rush said.

"He impressed us with his knowledge of the British game and his work with younger players.

"In his role as head of the Junior Kangaroos, a position he has held for three seasons, he has done a superb job in nurturing young talent and developing the next wave of Australian internationals.

"During the process Justin clearly identified himself as an attack-minded coach.

"He also understands the club and our philosophy which is important moving forward."

Roosters head coach Trent Robinson said: "Justin has made a significant contribution to the Roosters since he joined us as an assistant coach in 2015.

"Not only is Justin a great coach, he's also a terrific person, and I'd personally like to thank him for his efforts, commitment and friendship.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Justin, and on behalf of everyone involved with the Roosters, we wish Justin, his wife Nat and their young family all the very best."

Saints are seventh in Super League and face Warrington Wolves on Friday before a trip to Castleford Tigers in the sixth round of the Challenge Cup a week on Saturday.

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