16th April 2013, 10:32
DRAGONHEARTS COACHING TEAM ASSEMBLED
MIKE GRADY IS APPOINTED HEAD COACH FOR THE FOUR NATIONS CAMPAIGN
WALES Rugby League have appointed their new Dragonhearts coaching team, with Mike Grady stepping up to the plate as head coach.
Grady, 30, has played rugby league throughout England and had a spell in Albi, France, before turning to coaching with Warrington Wizards in 2010. He is still with them now after their merger with Woolston Rovers RLFC.
He said: “It was a fantastic opportunity with the Dragonhearts and I'm over the moon to be the head coach for the forthcoming series. It's great to be working with someone like Wales who are coming on leaps and bounds.”
Grady will be joined by assistant coaches Jonathan Burgess and Paul Emmanuelli while Idris Evans, a highly-experienced administrator from Cardiff Demons, has been appointed as the Dragonheart's team manager.
“The first thing is to select a squad and I have Paul in the south and Jon in the north to help with that. I will try and get around to as many matches as I can.”
Burgess, 24, set-up Rhyl and Prestatyn Panthers where he still remains as their coach. He said: “I'm delighted to get the job. It's an honour to be with the international side. I'm very proud to be in the position and working with Mike, Paul and Idris.”
Emmanuelli, 29, has played rugby league at Conference level with the Blackwood Bulldogs and the Valley Cougars and has represented Wales at 'A' team and Dragonhearts levels.
He has also been involved with the Crusaders Colts and South Wales Hornets sides as well as playing rugby union for Wales at Under-17 and Under-18 age group levels.
Mark Jones, the Wales Rugby League National Development Manager, said “ I am very excited about the new Dragonhearts appointments, the new head coach Mike Grady has a wealth of experience and the backroom staff are made of both North and South Wales staff which will allow us to select from a wider player base and ensure the team is truly national.
“The Dragonhearts still remain the most successful Welsh team in history and I know this staff will leave no stone unturned in the quest to regain the Amateur Four Nations Championships.”
Wales Dragonhearts play England Lions in the first of their Four Nations games at The Gnoll, Neath, on July 14 before they take on Ireland Wolfhounds in Limerick on August 3 before finishing the campaign with a possible title match against Scotland Bravehearts at Parc Eirias, Conwy, on August 24.