McNamara to run Bulls and England

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The Independent Online

Steve McNamara will be announced by the RFL as the new England coach today, but they will share him for the rest of this season with Bradford. The League had wanted to make a full-time appointment but has agreed to let him carry on at the Bulls in the meantime.

Bradford's reluctance to enter into negotiations about an extension, even when England came knocking, is a major factor in McNamara's decision to take the job. He has been in charge at the Bulls since succeeding Brian Noble four years ago.

His reputation was not enhanced when Bradford missed out on the top eight and the play-offs for the first time last year, but he has steered them into fifth place this time. His first task is to prepare a side to play France in June.

Tony Smith, the previous England coach, has extended his stay at Warrington to 2013.

St Helens will be without Jon Wilkins for 12 weeks with a shoulder injury.