Woolford Departs Knights for Giants

Woolford Departs Knights for Giants

Newcastle Knights Intrust Super Premiership coach Simon Woolford has taken up a role at the Huddersfield Giants and will depart the Australian club immediately.

Woolford, who played 262 first grade games for the Raiders and Dragons before transitioning into coaching, took charge of the Knights at the start of the 2016. Working under head coach Nathan Brown - who had coached Woolford in his final two seasons - the 43-year-old had some success in his maiden season, taking Newcastle from a wooden spoon to a semi-final finish in 2017.

Results have been hard to come by in 2018, however, with the Knights finding themselves in 12th position after eight rounds. Woolford will now take over another side struggling for form; the Giants have managed two wins from the opening 13 weeks of the English Super League, also anchoring them to the bottom of the ladder.

It is understood that Woolford, a former hooker, will be immediately replaced by fellow No.9 Rory Kostjaysn, who retired from playing less than one year ago. Having signed with the Knights for the 2017 season, a throat injury prevented the former Cowboy from playing a game, putting an end to his playing days and beginning his coaching career.

The 30-year-old took up the reins of the Knights' UNE Harold Matthews side in 2018, making the preliminary finals, but will now be faced with the challenge of lifting the club into Intrust Super Premiership Finals contention. Newcastle will next play the 11th-placed Wyong Roos, kicking off from 3pm on Saturday at Morry Breen Oval.

Rory Kostjaysn watching on with the Newcastle Knights.
Rory Kostjaysn watching on with the Newcastle Knights. ©Shane Meyers/NRL Photos