Finnigan appointed as new head coach

Newcastle Thunder’s have appointed Simon Finnigan as their new head coach, with the former Ireland international joining with immediate effect from Toronto Wolfpack.

Vastly experienced as a player with over 230 first team appearances across Super League and Championship level, Finnigan moves into coaching with Leigh Centurions after hanging up his boots in 2014.

Part of the coaching panel that earned the automatic promotion to Super League in 2016, Finnigan crossed the Atlantic for the Wolfpack’s debut season in 2017 and had been an integral part of their impressive seasons so far.

Implementing his experiences and expertise as a player in a coaching capacity, he has overseen back to back top of the table finishes for the Wolfpack in their first two seasons.

His appointment comes on the back of Denis Betts joining Thunder as director of rugby earlier in March, with the former Widnes Vikings boss keen to welcome his new head coach into the fold.

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, as Thunder celebrate the 20th anniversary of the club.