Former Whitehaven coach Steve McCormack is set to help rugby league players prepare for life after the sport.

McCormack has been appointed as Rugby League Cares’ first ever transition manager, which will see him work alongside full-time players as they approach the end of their playing careers to help them prepare for life after rugby.

He will also provide additional support to players across the game alongside the clubs’ dedicated player welfare managers, as well as working closely with RL Cares’ career coach Julie Measures.

He will be joining the independent charity in March from Wigan Warriors, where his work as player welfare manager has seen the Super League champions become recognised as one of the most progressive clubs in British sport in the welfare field.

RL Cares head of player welfare Emma Rosewarne said: “This is a hugely important appointment for Rugby League which underlines RL Cares’s commitment to providing first class levels of service and support to the playing community.

“We are looking forward to harnessing Steve’s exceptional experience and abilities to help players go on to have fulfilling and rewarding lives once their playing days are over.”

And McCormack added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get stuck into helping players across the game in my new role as transition manager.

“I’ve been involved in working with players on planning for what they’re going to do after their rugby careers are over since I first got into coaching at Salford in 1998.

“Rugby League has the best player welfare systems in sport and a lot of that is down to the hard work and dedication of organisations like RL Cares and people like Emma Rosewarne. “Through their efforts there has been a massive increase in awareness among players of the need to think about transitioning as early as possible.It’s a very exciting role and one I feel I have been preparing for over many years.”I really appreciate Wigan’s understanding in allowing me to take up this position and I’d like to thank them for their support over the last couple of years.”

An England international at junior level, Steve’s playing ambitions were ended by a serious shoulder injury as a teenager. Steve went on enjoy a hugely successful coaching career at both club and international level: he was twice named Championship coach of the year while at Whitehaven in 2004 and 2005 and coached Scotland in the Rugby League World Cups of 2008, 2013 and 2017.