PAUL Cullen is the new coach of Widnes Vikings.
The former England and Warrington Wolves head coach has agreed a two-year contract.
He said: “I’m really excited to be joining Widnes. The plan is simple, we need to get Widnes into Super League where we belong.”
Cullen will take charge following the Vikings’ opening Co-operative Championship game this Thursday against Toulouse at the Stobart Stadium Halton (ko 7.30pm).
Widnes chairman Steve O’Connor is delighted with the acquisition of Cullen, who led England to a Federation Shield victory over Tonga at Widnes in 2006.
He said: “We had 17 applications and it was pleasing to see that the name of Widnes is one that is still held in high regard within the rugby league world.
“ I have met with three of the applicants and during my meeting with Paul I was impressed with his enthusiasm and vision for the future of the club – one which I share with him.
“Paul has coached at all levels of the sport and will bring with him a wealth of experience to the role. This, coupled with the exciting squad we have, should give us the platform to launch an assault on the Co-operative Championship while being just two games away from the Northern Rail Cup final.”
O’Connor added: “I would like to put on record my thanks to John Stankevitch for the work he has undertaken over the last few weeks.”
It is understood Stankevitch, who had been caretaker coach, will be staying with the club and working alongside Cullen.
Full details will be issued at a press conference tomorrow.