Hull FC complete John Cartwright appointment as new coaching direction sought

John Cartwright is Hull FC's new head coach from the 2025 season.
John Cartwright is Hull FC's new head coach from the 2025 season. -Credit:Getty Images

Hull FC have completed the appointment of John Cartwright as their new head coach. The 58-year-old Australian has signed a three-year contract with the club and will join ahead of pre-season training for the 2025 season.

Cartwright, renowned as a disciplinarian and defence-based coach, has been on Hull’s radar for the last couple of weeks, with the club believed to have identified the Penrith-born coach after missing out on Paul Rowley. They have been sold by his vision to take the club forward, having first held talks with the Black and Whites over a fortnight ago. He is understood to have signed the deal on Monday, with an official announcement imminent.

After a coaching career that has spanned over two decades, Cartwright is currently an assistant coach at NRL outfit Brisbane Broncos, where he helped the club as a defensive coach to the Grand Final last year after joining ahead of the 2020. He has been working under head coach Kevin Walters and alongside British-born emerging coach Lee Briers.

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Before that, Cartwright was also an assistant coach at North Queensland Cowboys for their Premiership win in 2015, having become the inaugural head coach of Gold Coast Titans in 2007. He was at the Titans for eight seasons and took them to third place in 2010, their best ever finish in the NRL. He left in 2014, with Hull being his first head coach appointment in over a decade.

However, the club are confident they have the man to take them forward, with Cartwright also having coaching spells with Penrith Panthers, Manly Sea Eagles and Sydney Roosters. He had a stellar playing and coaching career at hometown club, Penrith, playing 187 games and winning the 1991 Premiership as a player. A New South Wales and Australia test forward, he also spent a year playing at Salford Red Devils in 1997 and is now tasked with turning Hull’s fortunes around alongside Director of Rugby, Richie Myler.

Cartwright will be Hull's sixth coach of the 2020s after Lee Radford, Andy Last, Brett Hodgson, Tony Smith, and Simon Grix. The current interim head coach, who was a candidate for the role on a permanent basis, has been offered the chance to stay on as an assistant next season after building a strong relationship with the players this season.

The club, meanwhile, have already signed John Asiata, Oliver Holmes, and Zak Hardaker for the 2025 season and are expected to bring in more players both domestically and overseas as their recruitment drive continues.

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