Long-serving Matt Parish quits as coach of the Samoan rugby league team

APIA, Samoa (AP) — Long-serving Matt Parish has quit as coach of the Samoan rugby league team after guiding his side to the World Cup final in England last year.

The team has not announced a replacement.

Parish, an Australian who played 64 first-grade matches for the Balmain Tigers between 1988 and 1993, helped the Pacific nation break new ground in 2022 when the team avenged a 60-6 group stage loss to England to beat the hosts in a semifinal.

Their qualification for the final at Old Trafford, where they lost to Australia 30-10 before a crowd of more than 67,000, marked the first time since 1968 that a team other than Australia, New Zealand or England had reached a World Cup decider.

Parish coached Samoa at World Cups in 2013, 2017 and 2022. He began as coach in 2013.

“I am extremely grateful and honored to have been part of this wonderful team,” Parish said in a statement Thursday. “I’m proud of the progress we have made and the positive impact that our players had on all Samoans around the world.”

Samoa is expected to play Australia and New Zealand in a tri-series tournament later this year.


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