Raper appointed as Sharks coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raper appointed as Sharks coach

By Darren Walton 02/12/2003 09:55:25 PM Comments (0)

Stuart Raper was formally appointed head coach of Cronulla for the next two National Rugby League seasons.

Raper was to have been Chris Anderson's assistant before the national coach was sacked by the Sharks.

Veteran fullback David Peachey - Cronulla's longest-serving player - endorsed Raper as the answer to the Sharks' coaching problems.

As Anderson's soured relationship with the Sharks board headed for the courts, Raper was ushered back to the club where his coaching career began before he set off for a stint in England.

He transformed struggling Castleford into a genuine English Super League contender before being lured to Wigan, where he successfully guided the power club to the 2001 grand final and 2002 Challenge Cup.

Raper had coached Cronulla's 1994 Presidents Cup team to premiership glory and Peachey, while disappointed to have lost Anderson, said he'd welcome Raper back.

"I had the pleasure of being coached by Stuey when I first came down from Dubbo (in 1994). He's had a lot of experience since then - coached over in the UK - and I think he'll do a good job," said the former NSW State of Origin custodian.

Peachey said the Cronulla players had been behind Anderson, who had at least another year remaining on his $400,000-a-season contract before being shown the door, but everyone was now ready to put the long-running coaching saga behind them.

That included Phil Bailey, the NSW Origin and Australian Test star with the get-out clause in his contract.

Bailey said he was "very disappointed" with Anderson's sacking, but was likely to remain with the club.

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