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Craig Richards steps down from England job

Craig Richards has announced that he will step down from his role as head coach of the England Women's Rugby League side following their 20-6 defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final. 

Richards, appointed in 2017, led hosts England to their fourth consecutive World Cup semi-final.

During the post-match press conference that followed England's defeat, Richards, 44, said he would not be staying in the job.

The RFL said it will make a further announcement after the World Cup.

"I have spent five years trying to close the gap. It is not good enough," said an emotional Richards on Monday, stating his belief that England's players need to turn professional if they are to close the gap on finalists New Zealand and Australia.

"It'll be someone else who takes the team forward. That decision was made a while ago. It won't be me so I'll support from afar."

After taking charge following the 2017 World Cup, Richards led England to nine wins across his 11 Test matches in charge.

"Craig was appointed to take over immediately after the 2017 World Cup in Australia, and has developed the team through this current World Cup cycle - which was extended by 12 months as a result of the pandemic," said Dave Rotheram, the RFL's chief on-field officer.

"That included a ground-breaking tour of Papua New Guinea in 2019, which followed an appearance in the World Nines in Sydney, and also required him to adapt to the unique challenges presented by Covid-19."

In a statement, the RFL said: "We will make a further announcement regarding the future of the England Women set-up, including a new head coach, after the completion of the Rugby League World Cup."

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