'Teddy bear' Endacott to coach Wigan

Wigan have appointed the New Zealand Test coach, Frank Endacott, to what has become the game's hottest seat - but only for one year.

Wigan have appointed the New Zealand Test coach, Frank Endacott, to what has become the game's hottest seat - but only for one year.

Endacott, who has enjoyed great success with the Kiwi Test side, replaces Andy Goodway, the Great Britain coach he defeated in two Test series.

"I have made no secret of the fact that I would love to coach in England and I am delighted that the chance has come at a club as big as Wigan," said Endacott, who will continue as the New Zealand coach for the Lincoln World Cup next year. He is the second Kiwi coach to be appointed by Maurice Lindsay, and Wigan's rise to pre-eminence could be traced from the arrival of the first, Graham Lowe, in 1986.

The big difference is that Endacott has been given just one season to show that he is the long-term answer. Lindsay's argument for the arrangement is that the last five Wigan coaches - John Dorahy, Graeme West, Eric Hughes, the second incarnation of John Monie and Goodway - have each been sacked before the end of their contract.

"I suggested to Frank that we should both take the pressure off ourselves by making it a one-year deal and seeing how it goes," said Lindsay as he announced the appointment yesterday. "He said, 'Maurice, I'll back myself'."

As well as being in charge of New Zealand for five years, during which the Kiwis have consistently outplayed Great Britain and come close to wresting the title of world champions from Australia, Endacott has been assistant to Monie at the Auckland Warriors and later head coach there in his own right.

His famously affable nature has been a recommendation for him in this new role. "The club has been through a pretty miserable time," said Lindsay, who returned as chairman in October. "The supporters have become disillusioned and it has affected the players. That is why I feel that Frank is the right coach at the right time for this club.

"Under that teddy-bear exterior, there's a very tough rugby league coach, but he will bring a refreshing change to the dressing-room. That is what the players need at the moment, rather than a highly scientific coach."

Only giving Endacott a one- year contract, however, gives Lindsay the leeway to change his mind about what Wigan need at the end of the 2000 season. "I know that people will say that Frank is only keeping the seat warm for Ellery Hanley or Chris Anderson and I can't help that," Lindsay said.

Hanley, for whom Lindsay has an undisguised admiration, has another year to run on his contract with St Helens. By that time, there might also be tempting Australian candidates available, like Anderson or the Brisbane Broncos' mentor, Wayne Bennett.

It all combines to put pressure on Endacott to produce results quickly after the disappointment of this year - the first for 15 seasons in which Wigan have not won a trophy.

He will have to do it with a squad largely assembled by others, although Wigan have one import spot available if Danny Moore agrees to a transfer to London. Endacott will have a say in which player - a forward - will come in when and if that happens.

The question of an assistant is being left open until Endacott meets the remaining members of Wigan's coaching staff, Billy McGinty and Ged Byrne. That is unlikely to be before the Boxing Day derby against St Helens as the club are not hopeful of obtaining a work permit for him any earlier.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Recruitment Genius: Magento Front End Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Investigo: management accountant

£250 - £300 per day: Investigo: Growing international marketing business requi...

Recruitment Genius: ORM / Online Reputational Consultant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ORM Consultant is required t...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore