Former Wolfpack assistant Simon Finnigan named head coach of the Widnes Viking

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Former Toronto Wolfpack assistant coach Simon Finnigan has been named head coach of the Widnes Vikings, the team he used to play for.

Finnigan left the Wolfpack in March 2019 to become head coach of the Newcastle Thunder. The former Irish international was part of the transatlantic rugby league team from Day 1, serving as an assistant first to Paul Rowley and then Brian McDermott.

Toronto was in the second-tier Betfred Championship when he left. Newcastle is in the third-tier League 1.

Widnes, which is in the Championship, gave Finnigan a two-year contract.

Born in the United Kingdom, Finnigan grew up in Australia, where he played all of his junior rugby league before returning to England to make his debut with Widnes in 2003.

He went on to make more than 230 first-team appearances with Widnes, Salford City Reds, Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants and Leigh Centurions before retiring in 2014.

The Wolfpack stood down July 20, short of the funds to continue the Super League season. Toronto's bid for reinstatement in 2021 was voted down on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2020

The Canadian Press