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Cartwright named Hull FC head coach from 2025

John Cartwright during a Brisbane training session
John Cartwright has been working as assistant to head coach Kevin Walters at Brisbane Broncos since 2021 [Getty Images]

Hull FC have appointed Australian John Cartwright as their head coach for the 2025 Super League season.

Cartwright, 58, has been working as assistant coach at NRL club Brisbane Broncos for the last three and a half years.

A former Australia international in his playing career, he was head coach for Gold Coast Titans for seven years.

He will move to the UK in the autumn to take charge of the Black and Whites' pre-season preparations for next year.

Simon Grix is currently in interim charge at the MKM Stadium, after Tony Smith left the club last month.

Hull are 11th in Super League with just a single win from 11 matches this season.

Cartwright is one of the most experienced coaches in Australia, having also had roles at Penrith Panthers, Sydney Roosters, North Queensland Cowboys and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

He is about to be part of the high performance team under former Wigan Warriors head coach Michael Maguire for New South Wales in the forthcoming State of Origin series.

A back-row forward as a player, he spent his career at Penrith before ending with a season at Salford Red Devils in 1997.

He will now see out the season with the Broncos before coming over to Super League.

"When a club the size and the status of Hull FC came along, it was something I really wanted to have a go at," he told the club's website.

“My time at the Broncos has made me realise that if a head coach role came along, and one that really interested me, then I would like to have a crack at it."

Hull director of rugby Richie Myler, himself only appointed last month, is delighted that he has brought in a coach of Cartwright's experience.

He cites "attention to detail" and "grit and determination" as qualities that can help spark an upturn in the club's fortunes next year.

"As one of the most experienced coaches across the sport, John's leadership and direction will take us in a fresh, new direction in 2025," said Myler.

“Over the last few weeks as we’ve gone through the process of making this decision, it’s become apparent that John is someone who brings real grit, determination and desire to the people around him, and he has the ability to unify by bringing the entire club together on to the same page."

'An important piece of recruitment'

Analysis by Matt Newson, BBC Rugby League correspondent

This is an important piece of recruitment by Hull FC and what John Cartwright certainly has is experience and gravitas.

He was a mixed bag at Gold Coast, guiding them to finals football in the NRL League but also picking up the wooden spoon for last on the ladder.

That said, the Titans are a tough nut for any coach to crack, as ex-St Helens boss Justin Holbrook discovered and even Des Hasler is now finding.

Cartwright's coaching CV includes spells with Brisbane under Kevin Walters, North Queensland under the late Paul Green and with Ricky Stuart at the Roosters.

How much he will know about Super League other than his short spell at Salford as a player in the late 90s is yet to be seen and, at 58, he's hardly in the bracket of a Willie Peters or Holbrook - young, hungry assistant coaches from the NRL seeking a top job.

But he will certainly know some of the talent from down under that could be imported - and that is something Hull will be desperate for given some of their recent transfer 'misses'.

Plus, if he has Gareth Ellis on his staff in some capacity, there is some excellent help at hand.

Hull FC official website