NORTH WALES CRUSADERS assistant Anthony Murray is to take the position of head coach of the Championship side through to the end of the season, after Clive Griffiths moved to take on the role of rugby director last week.
The former Warrington, Leigh and Oldham player started the season as head coach of Barrow Raiders but had to step away from the role due to personal commitments.
Murray has spent the past few months on Griffiths’ backroom staff but will take the hot seat for the next 11 games.
Commenting on the move, Murray said: “I joined Crusaders to continue to learn from two very experienced coaches in Clive and John, so I didn’t expect this to come my way at all, but I’m really excited about it.
“I’ve made it clear to the directors I can only take the post through to the end of the season as I’ve taken a position with the University of Liverpool, but in a way that gives me a great opportunity to focus solely on trying to keep us in this division.
“We’ve got to take it game by game, but I know we’ve got the ability within the squad to stay up. It’s a real dogfight at the bottom and we can’t make any promises, other than that we will all work extremely hard for each other.”
Chief executive Jamie Thomas commented: “Anthony has certainly impressed since joining a few months ago. Clive was already aware of his abilities as a player with them having been together at Warrington a number of years ago, but he has really added an extra dimension to the coaching group.
“It’s obviously a tough year to be a coach in the Championship with an unprecedented five teams being relegated, but I know Anthony, the coaching team and all the players will give it everything for the remainder of the year and I’m confident from where we sit we can kick on.”
Rugby director Clive Griffiths said: “Anthony is a coach of real talent and has a great rapport with the boys. I know he’ll do an excellent job as head coach until the end of the season and we’re all 100-per-cent behind him.”
Murray will take charge of his first game on Sunday as Crusaders travel to Batley (2pm kick-off).