Potter quits Saints for return Down Under

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The Independent Online

Mick Potter is to leave his job as St Helens coach at the end of the season to try to make the grade in his native Australia. "It's always been my intention to one day coach in the NRL and it's something I truly believe I'm ready for," he said.

Saints' chairman, Eamonn McManus, said that he understood Potter's motivation. "Michael has explained that he has ambitions to possibly secure a place in the NRL and we wish him well in his endeavours," he said. "He has been a great asset to our organisation and will be successful wherever he goes."

Potter, a former full-back and assistant coach at St George-Illawarra, had a successful stint with the Catalan Dragons before he succeeded Daniel Anderson on a two-year contract at Knowsley Road at the start of 2009.

That was a disappointing season by Saints' standards in which they lost the Super League Grand Final to Leeds and a Challenge Cup semi-final to Huddersfield. This year, however, they have weathered a heavy injury toll, brought through a crop of talented young players and are just two points behind the leaders, Wigan. "Winning the Challenge Cup and a Premiership are well within our capabilities and it would be a great way to go out," Potter said.

Credible candidates to replace him are thin on the ground in this country, although Hull KR's Justin Morgan could appeal. Saints are more likely to look for an up-and-comer from Australia, along the lines of Wigan's Michael Maguire.