Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have named former Hull KR boss Chris Chester as their new head coach.

The 37-year-old led the Robins to last season’s Challenge Cup final, but was sacked last month.

He replaces Australian Brian Smith, who resigned last week after winning just one of their first five games.
Chris Chester
The Wildcats have also announced that Batley and Wales coach John Kear will join the club as director of rugby for the 2017 season.

Chester said: “I am delighted to become head coach of Wakefield Wildcats, especially as it is my home town club and a club with a lot of traditions.

“I have been stood on these terraces as a young kid and I am really proud that I now get to coach this great team.”

Kear, who was appointed as Wales coach in July 2014 and will combine that post with his new role, added: “I am looking forward to joining the Wildcats and I will look to bring stability and improvement across the whole football department.”

“My appointment at Wakefield in no way affects my role as head coach of Wales and I am looking forward to the Rugby League World Cup qualifiers this autumn.”

Smith guided Wakefield to Super League survival with victory in the Million Pound Game against Bradford in October.

He signed a new one-year contract with the club after that, but left this month after a breakdown in his relationship with chairman Michael Carter.

Wakefield, who face Hull FC on Friday, are currently 11th in the 12-team Super League.