Anderson plans steady approach to St Helens' progression

By Dave Hadfield
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The Independent Online

Daniel Anderson has promised evolution rather than revolution in his new job as the coach of St Helens. The former New Zealand Test coach began work at Knowsley Road yesterday in succession to the sacked Ian Millward, but said that he will not be making any radical changes to the way Saints play.

Daniel Anderson has promised evolution rather than revolution in his new job as the coach of St Helens. The former New Zealand Test coach began work at Knowsley Road yesterday in succession to the sacked Ian Millward, but said that he will not be making any radical changes to the way Saints play.

"I'll tread very carefully, with very small steps," he said. "We don't need to change course, but there might be a few minor adjustments."

Anderson will take charge for the first time for Friday night's demanding game against the Super League leaders, Leeds, and says he is impatient to get started. "I've apologised to the coaching staff, but my blood's pumping and I'm going to jump straight in," he said.

The St Helens chairman, Eamonn McManus, said that he was completely confident that the club has made the right appointment. "He's not just the right coach, he's the right person."

Anderson, aged 38, first emerged as an assistant coach at Parramatta, alongside his rival coach on Friday night, Tony Smith. He achieved quick success at the New Zealand Warriors, leading them to a Grand Final and coaching the New Zealand Test side until giving up the job to come to St Helens.

"It's a huge decision to come halfway across the world, but the prospect of coming to a magnificent rugby league club like St Helens was far too hard to pass up," he said. "I didn't need to ask anyone over here about St Helens. I'd seen a fair amount of them over the years, because I'm a rugby league lover." Anderson will be without the Great Britain full-back, Paul Wellens, for the Leeds match with a knee injury.

Millward has his first injury problem as Wigan coach. David Vaealiki, has damaged a pectoral muscle and the club fears that the injury could be similar to the one that ended Luke Davico's career.

Lesley Vainikolo will be out of Bradford's plans for the next eight weeks after straining knee ligaments. His coach, Brian Noble, said it was a "devastating blow".

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