Veteran Australian rugby league coach Tim Sheens has said his farewells at English Super League club Salford after helping them reach the Million-Pound Match.
Sheens is quitting his role as director of rugby at the Red Devils to take over as head coach of Hull KR next season and will be an interested spectator when his current and future employers meet at the Lightstream Stadium next Saturday to decide the 12th and final team in Super League for 2017.
Salford secured their place in the Million-Pound Match with a 42-14 win at Batley, after which head coach Ian Watson confirmed his boss will play no role in his team’s preparation for the one-off game in order to avoid a conflict of interest.
“Tim’s done now,” Watson said.
“I don’t think it would be fair on Tim to ask him to come in next week with us playing Hull KR.
“Tim has just spoken to a couple of the boys saying that he won’t be around.”
Sheens, who quit as Kangaroos coach 12 months ago to take up a three-year contract with the Super League club, has signed a three-year deal with Rovers regardless of which division they will be in next season.
“Tim’s been great for us,” added Watson.
“He’s a great bloke and has done a lot for us on and off the field. We’ll miss him but he’s chosen to go his way so that’s the way it will be.”
Salford had put themselves in relegation trouble by losing at home to London Broncos a week ago but began the process of redemption with a confident display against Batley.
Playing downhill in the first half, they had the game wrapped up by the interval when they led 34-4, with fullback Gareth O’Brien leading the way as he went on to claim 18 points with two tries and five goals.