Former Knights coach Rick Stone.
Former Knights coach Rick Stone.

English league side sack former Knights coach Stone

HUDDERSFIELD'S Australian mentor Rick Stone has become the first Super League coaching casualty of the season.

The 51-year-old Australian has been sacked by the Giants just two months into the season with the team next to bottom of the table after winning only two of their opening seven matches.

Stone, formerly with Newcastle in the NRL, succeeded Paul Anderson at the John Smith's Stadium in the summer of 2016 and his contract was up at the end of this season.

Assistant coach Chris Thorman has been placed in temporary charge ahead of Friday's home game against champions Leeds.

Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis said: "It is a very difficult call for any club to make in respect of the head coach but the board felt that a change was needed and that the change should be made sooner rather than later with much of the season still to run."

Stone was unable to prevent Huddersfield finishing in the bottom four in 2016 but guided them to safety via the Super 8s Qualifiers and last season steered them to a top-eight finish.

Former Knights coach Rick Stone.
Former Knights coach Rick Stone.

He recently spoke of his desire to extend his stay but the Giants are once more deep in trouble, having lost 38-6 to promoted Hull KR in their last home game, and they conceded nine tries in a 48-10 hammering at Wigan last Friday.

"Rick Stone is an outstanding man, character and coach but the results for us simply haven't worked out as anyone would have wished for" Thewlis said.

"Everyone here will be upset to see Rick leave as he is a very popular man but with this decision now made we focus on supporting Chris Thorman in the role with the recognition that we will be inundated with offers of names wanting to come in, all of which we will evaluate in the fullness of time.

Thorman, 37, enjoyed two spells as a player at Huddersfield and captained them in the 2006 Challenge Cup final against St Helens at Twickenham.

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