England coach Steve McNamara has committed his future to the Sydney Roosters by signing a new two-year contract.
No official announcement has been made by the Roosters at the request of McNamara, as he maintains his focus on England’s three-Test series against New Zealand which starts this weekend, but PA understands he made his decision four months ago to stay with the NRL club.
If he is reappointed as England coach for the 2017 World Cup, it will be on a part-time basis and he will continue to be based in Sydney.
The 44-year-old former Hull, Bradford, Huddersfield and Great Britain forward was appointed national coach in 2010 as Tony Smith’s successor after acting as assistant for three years, relinquishing his job as Bulls mentor to work full-time for the Rugby Football League (RFL).
McNamara’s initial three-year contract ran out after the 2013 World Cup, in which England suffered a heartbreaking last-minute semi-final loss to the Kiwis, and he was re-appointed on a two-year deal.
However, the job reverted to part-time status at that point and McNamara joined the Roosters as assistant to coach Trent Robinson after rejecting offers from rugby union.
McNamara has been joined in Sydney by his family but has made mid-season trips to England over the past two years to maintain personal contact with his elite training squad and backroom staff.
It is thought he is keen to remain in the England job but much will depend on the outcome of the series against New Zealand, which kicks off on Sunday afternoon at McNamara’s home-town club Hull.
He has steadfastly refused to comment on his future at both club and country level, saying he will discuss his England role with RFL chief executive Nigel Wood at the end of the autumn internationals.