Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Rugby League

Time is right for McNamara says Kear

Former England coach John Kear is convinced the Rugby Football League have got the right man for the job after naming Steve McNamara as the new boss of the national team.

The appointment of McNamara brings to an end months of speculation over the identity of Tony Smith's successor following his resignation in November. The Bradford coach is no stranger to the international setup, having pulled on the jersey as a player and more recently as an assistant under Smith for three years.

Kear, who is now in charge of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, led England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2000. He threw his weight behind the RFL's appointment in the Independent's latest Tryline Podcast, which will be available here very soon and can also be downloaded from iTunes by clicking here.

Kear said: "Steve's at a good stage of his career. He's had a head coaching job pretty early in his career, he's done very well at it as well in time of change at Odsal, but now is a great time for him to step back, take a look at the game as a whole and look at the Aussie game as whole and hopefully prepare a team for just half a dozen or so games in 2013. That's what he'll be building towards right from the first day he gets the job.

"I'd have taken the job, if I would have been in Steve's shoes, at this stage of his career, full time and said right, I want to go to Australia after the France game and really look at their methods within their clubs as well as look at their personnel over there so that he would be really au fait with everything for the four nations at the end of the year. I wish him every success."

McNamara's first task will be to pick a squad for a friendly against France in June 12th, although he will do that while staying in charge of the Bulls until the end of the season.

Ironically his new right-hand man as he plots England's path to glory in the World Cup in 2013 will be the former head coach's brother Brian.

Kear added: "He has been a mentor to Steve and I think he has been instrumental to his development, so he will draw on his experience and expertise just as I think he will on Tony as well. They are both very intelligent and rugby league minded people and that can only help him having them to turn t for advice."

You can hear the Wildcats coach's full thoughts on the England job in this podcast, where he also talks about Wakefield's current form, masterminding Sheffield Eagles' historic Challenge Cup triumph and a sad chapter in his career when his current club was struck by double tragedy.

You can listen to Tryline on the Independent's website or by following this link.