The Catalan Dragons have recruited Trent Robinson as their new coach on a three-year contract. The 33-year-old Australian is currently an assistant with the Sydney Roosters, but has played for and coached Toulouse and speaks fluent French.
"I know the French culture and way of life and want the team to develop its own game," said Robinson. "I know I am ready to manage a Super League team and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
The Dragons are running last in Super League and their coach, Kevin Walters, has decided to leave after two years in charge. John Kear was the club's first choice as his successor, but they were unable to agree a compensation deal with Wakefield.
The Catalans' chief executive, Christophe Jouffret, believes, however, that they have got the right man. "He is a young coach, but with strong experience at the highest level in the NRL," he said. "He's ambitious, hard-working and has new ideas to develop French rugby league."
Sean Long has been told that he will be out of action for the next eight weeks after dislocating his elbow when Hull played the Catalans last weekend.
Although that appears to rule him out for the rest of the season, his coach, Richard Agar, has not given hope that he might play again this year. "If all goes well with his rehab, we'll have him back for the last week or two," he said.
Agar has dismissed suggestions that he is about to bring the former Hull KR scrum-half James Webster, who is now on his coaching staff, out of retirement as cover for Long.