MCRAE ANNOUNCES HULL DEPARTURE
By Matt Holden | 02/08/2013
Hull FC’s Director of Rugby, Shaun McRae, has announced he will be returning home to Australia at the end of the season.
The Black and Whites’ former coach, who returned to the club in his new role in 2011, has confirmed his intentions to leave and return home to be with his family.
McRae arrived at the club shortly after new owner Adam Pearson took over at the helm and played an important role in the transition of the club’s performance department, which included the arrival of head coach Peter Gentle, a number of new members of performance staff and a succession of new first-team players.
Speaking about his time at the club and his decision to leave, the Australian admitted the time was right.
“It is a decision I have thought long and hard about and taken into account the feelings of my wife and my family, although I do leave with a very heavy heart," he said.
“Hull FC has and always will be a very special club for me, not just from my time as coach all those years ago, but more latterly as Director of Rugby, a role I have thoroughly enjoyed and rekindled some old friendships that will be lasting ones.
“I can’t think of a better time to leave the club on the back of a Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, which is a reward for everybody’s hard work over the last couple of years. I know it is only the start of a special era for Hull FC and one that I am pleased to have been able to play a small part in.”
He added, “I must thank Adam and Peter (Gentle) for their support and friendship during my time at the club, as well as all those people who I’ve met down the years that have been involved with or supported Hull FC.
“We all know the fans of this club are second to none, it’s one of the reasons that makes it so special, and I hope they get to share many more days out at Wembley with the players, coaches and staff for years to come.”
McRae spent five years with the club as coach between 1999 and 2004, following the merger with Gateshead, helping lay the foundations of the side that went on to lift the Challenge Cup a year later in 2005.
He has also coached in Super League with St. Helens and Salford, as well as being known to supporters as a pundit on SkySports' rugby league coverage.
Hull FC owner Adam Pearson has wished him all the best for the future and believes he has left a lasting legacy on the club.
“People will always remember Shaun McRae for his commitment to the club during both spells with Hull FC and as a man who helped steady the ship following the turbulent times of the merger with Gateshead.
“He has certainly been a popular figure with the supporters and the wider rugby league public and on behalf of the club, I must thank him for his contribution to Hull FC and the game.
“He leaves us with our best wishes and we pass on our regards to his family who will be welcoming him back in Australia very soon, which I know is something he is looking forward to.”
McRae will see out the remainder of the season with the club before returning to Australia in the close season.