McRae heading back Down Under

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2nd August 2013

Hull FC director of rugby Shaun McRae is to step down at the end of the season and return to his native Australia.

The 53-year-old's departure from the KC Stadium, where he also spent five years as coach, will end a long association with the British game spanning almost the entire Super League era.

In a statement released by Hull, the former St Helens, Gateshead and Salford City Reds coach said he intended to spend more time with his family.

McRae said: "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.

"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."

McRae guided St Helens to the Super League title in 1996 before taking over at Gateshead for their single season in the competition in 1999.

Gateshead's subsequent merger with Hull took him to the Black and Whites, where he remained until tempted to return home with South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2005.

He was linked with the Great Britain coaching job in 2007 but returned to the country with Salford later that year.

He spent four years at The Willows before leaving on health grounds in 2011. He then returned to the sport in his current administrative capacity with Hull.

Hull owner Adam Pearson said: “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.”