Former Halifax half-back named Great Britain Lions assistant coach

Ian Watson. PIC: Isabel Pearce/
Ian Watson. PIC: Isabel Pearce/

Ian Watson has been named as one of Wayne Bennett's assistant coaches ahead of the return of the Great Britain Lions this autumn.

The current Salford Red Devils boss will work alongside the South Sydney coach and London Broncos chief Danny Ward, who has been named as the other assistant.

Watson spent one season at Halifax in 2007, making 30 appearances, scoring three tries.

The 42-year-old also played 30 times for Wales between 1995 and 2011 and feels "privileged" to be involved with Great Britain.

“I was honoured to play so many times for Wales, and I’m delighted that the Great Britain team has been reformed, so it’s a privilege to have this chance to be involved on the tour,” said Watson.

“There is a great history of Wales players and coaches being involved with the Rugby League Lions, and I’ll also be representing Salford who have given me such a great opportunity in coaching.”

Great Britain will head on their first southern hemisphere tour since the 2006 Tri-Nations series, for matches against Tonga, New Zealand and Papa New Guinea.

They will play Tonga in Hamilton on October 26 before two games against New Zealand in Auckland on November 2 and in Christchurch on November 9.

The four-Test tour will finish with a clash against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on November 16.

Kevin Sinfield, the Rugby Football League’s Rugby Director, added: “We are delighted to have Ian and Danny on board for the Great Britain tour.

"They both struck up an immediate rapport with Wayne Bennett at interviews last week – as well as having proved themselves excellent coaches in their work with Salford and London over the last couple of years.

"They are also great personalities to add to the tour, both with first-hand knowledge of the special challenges and opportunities of international rugby league.”