Men’s team preparations for RLWC boosted by additions to backroom staff

The Men’s senior team have continued preparations for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup with three additions to John Kear’s staff.

Mark Houlton will join the team for the tournament as Performance Analyst, a role he has held at Wakefield Trinity since 2017. Mark’s first experience of rugby league came under former Wales international, Justin Morgan, in Morgan’s final season at Hull Kingston Rovers in 2011.

Mark progressed from that initial voluntary role to Assistant Analyst in 2012, before becoming Head of Analysis in 2014. In that time, he worked under Chris Chester and joined Chester at Wakefield Trinity in 2017 where Kear was Director of Rugby.

Mark is joined by fellow Trinity staff member, Leanne McPherson, who joins as a Sports Therapist. Leanne was part of the staff who travelled to France in June and first started her career in rugby league in 2017, before graduating from Leeds Beckett University in 2018. Her first role was part-time with Hunslet, something she later combined with a full-time position at the City of Hull Academy in 2019. When the City of Hull Academy was discontinued, Leanne worked for Hull FC, both with the Academy and the first team. At the start of the 2021 season, Leanne took up a role at Bradford Bulls as part of John Kear’s backroom staff, joining Wakefield Trinity in November of that year.

Finally, Darren Morson has joined the setup as Assistant Team Manager and kitman. Darren was brought up in Builth Wells and returned to Wales after some time living in Africa in his early 20’s. He has had a lifelong passion for rugby league and had his first formal involvement with the game as Assistant Team Manager with Coventry Bears. He was then offered the role as Team Manager when the Bears rebranded to Midlands Hurricanes.  Darren will support Team Manager, Bob Wilson, who has returned to the role in recent months.

Kear’s backroom team is completed by Mark Moxon (Assistant Coach), Adam Daniels (Strength and Conditioning), Richard Lawrance (Doctor), Angharad Sargeant (Physiotherapist), Alex Paynter (Heritage and Eligibility Manager), and Andy Morgan (Media Manager).

The staff will be supported by students from the University of Central Lancashire during the tournament.