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Williams, Dorn sign to coach

The Rebels senior representative team could have a third coach in as many seasons after two Newcastle Rugby League clubs officially revealed 2019 mentors on Thursday.
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Phil Williams will more than likely leavea vacancy at the Rebels after accepting the post at Central next year to takeover from outgoing Craig Miller while former NRL and English Super League player Luke Dorn will transition from captain-coach to coach-only at Maitland beyond this campaign.

NEW ROLE: Phil Williams will coach Central in 2019. Picture: Josh Callinan

Williams, who prepared his former club Kurri Kurri from 2014 to 2016 before current coach Ron Griffiths was appointed for 2017 and 2018, was in charge of the Rebels and assistant for the NSW Pioneers earlier this season.

For three seasons prior to Williams, the Rebels were put through their paces by exiting Lakes coach Todd Edwards.

Central president Heath Anderson said he was “very pleased” to have Williams “on board next year” to continue the “unbelievable” job done by Miller helping to “rebuild” the Butcher Boys duringhis two-season tenure.

“We’re extremely happy to have the current Rebels coach here,” Anderson said.“Phil [Williams] has the respect of the senior players and the skill set tobuild on what Barney [Miller] has instilled at the place.I think it will be a smooth transition.”

CONFIRMED: Luke Dorn will shift from captain-coach to coach-only at the Maitland Pickers in 2019. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Dorn, who told the Pickers players about his decision at trainingon Thursday night,said he was “very excited” about the change in roles and “lookedforward” to his next challenge but remained “focused” on this year’s prize. Maitland have a share of the competition lead.

Central sit third in the first-grade standings and are the frontrunners forthe club championship, a title the Butcher Boys have never taken out.

Elsewhere andLakes are on the hunt to replace Edwards, who was recently granted a release from the second year of his deal and looks set to join former club Cessnock in 2019 after Goannas captain-coach Al Lantry turned down the spot.

Kurri have not made a formal announcement about Griffiths.

Matt Lantry (Wests), Ben Cross (Souths) and Adam Bettridge (Macquarie) stay at the helm fortheir respective clubs.

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