Watson quits Salford in Super League

·1-min read

Super League franchise Salford are looking for a new coach after announcing the sudden departure of Ian Watson.

Watson, who was an assistant to Wayne Bennett during Great Britain's 2019 tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, has quit his position with immediate effect.

Watson, who has been at the club since 2014 and in charge for the last five years, is believed to have been approached by another Super League club.

That club is said to be Huddersfield, who have a vacancy following the departure of Australian Simon Woolford in September.

The news comes just a fortnight after Watson rejected an approach from Hull and pledged to see out his Salford contract, which was due to run to the end of 2022 after he agreed an extension in February.

Watson found himself in demand after taking the unfancied Red Devils to two major finals in 12 months despite operating on one of the lowest budgets in Super League.

Under Watson, Salford played in their maiden grand final in October 2019 and a month ago reached the Challenge Cup final for the first time since 1969.

His stock also rose with his appointment as an assistant to well respected coach Bennett.

A statement from Salford said: "The club were surprised and disappointed by Watson's decision yesterday, following his previous statements of intent for the coming season, but understand his desire to continue his development through the experience of a new environment."

A spokesman confirmed the club had agreed a compensation deal with the 44-year-old former Wales international.