London replace Powell with Rea

Rob Powell has been relieved of his duties as head coach of London Broncos

Rob Powell has been relieved of his duties as head coach of London Broncos

First published in National Sport © by

Rob Powell became the second Super League coaching casualty in 24 hours on Tuesday when he was removed from his role with London Broncos.

Powell, at 31 the youngest head coach in Super League, makes way for the return of former Broncos boss Tony Rea on a temporary basis for the rest of the season.

Powell, who has been offered the chance to remain with the club, has paid the price for a dismal season for the Londoners, who are bottom of Super League with just three wins from their 20 matches.

Chairman David Hughes said: "We had to make changes because our performances were unacceptable. This is a result of our mid-season internal review with other findings due to be concluded soon."

The removal of Powell comes in the wake of the sacking of Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown following a run of one win in eight matches. Powell was promoted from the role of assistant coach when Brian McDermott left to return north with Leeds Rhinos at the end of the 2010 season and was given a two-year contract.

The Londoners finished third from bottom in his first season but were expected to push for the play-offs this year after Hughes decided to spend up to the salary cap with the capture of high-profile signings like Craig Gower and NRL grand-finalists Shane Rodney and Michael Robertson.

However, they have under-performed all year and have not won a Super League fixture away from home since February 2011.

Rea, 45, a former player who held the posts of head coach and chief executive during a 13-year stint at the club, will be in charge for the last seven games of the season as the club search for a successor to Powell.

"I've had regular contact with Tony and he feels for the club," said Hughes. "I'm pleased that he has been able to come over and help us out at this time."

Powell later revealed he would not be involved in Saturday's game after being placed on "gardening" leave, saying: "I've been asked to take two weeks leave. I wish the boys the best of luck this weekend. Any further comment must come from the club."

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