By Wayne Cousins

Respected and experienced coach Wayne Lambkin has been promoted to the Sea Eagles NRL coaching staff.

Lambkin, who coached the Sea Eagles to the Holden Cup premiership in 2017, has returned home to Manly after initially being appointed Jersey Flegg Coach for 2024.

However, Lambkin has now been promoted to the NRL coaching staff following the departure of Blacktown Sea Eagles Workers Coach Brock Sheppard to Canberra.

Through his new role, Lambkin will also coach the Blacktown Sea Eagles Workers in the NSW Cup next year.

Manly Head Coach Anthony Seibold said Lambkin adds plenty of experience, having coached at NSW Cup level at a few different clubs, including the North Sydney Bears and Wests Tigers.

“We made the tough decision to let Brock go to the Canberra Raiders,’’ Seibold said.

“There was an opportunity for us to improve our full-time coaching staff, so we promoted Wayne Lambkin.

“Wayne knows what the Manly mentality is all about. He is a very trustworthy guy and you want good trustworthy people on staff.

“He comes with really good teaching experience and coaching experience.

“Wayne is a very well-connected coach, having spent plenty of time at Westfields Sports High School.

“There have been a number of NRL players who have come out of that school over a long period of time that ‘Chops’ was associated with.”

With Lambkin now involved with the NRL staff, Manly have appointed Scott McKenna as their new Jersey Flegg Coach.

“Scott is another guy who has the Manly DNA running through his veins,” Seibold said.

“He is the nephew of former Manly first grade player Charlie Haggett and was assistant coach to Wayne Lambkin in 2017.”

Todd Darvall, GM of Football at Blacktown Workers, said their club was very happy to have Lambkin on board as their new Head Coach.

“Wayne is the ultimate professional who has coached at all levels,” Darvall said.

“Players and staff met Wayne on Tuesday when he took control of his first session. We look forward to kicking off the season in March under Wayne.”

This collaboration, scheduled to kick off in 2024, solidifies a dynamic connection between Mounties Rugby League and the esteemed Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles NSW Cup.

As part of this strategic alliance, Mounties Rugby League’s Sydney Shield and Ron Massey teams will function as crucial feeder clubs for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles competing in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup.

This initiative fosters a seamless progression for Mounties Rugby League players from grassroots through to the pinnacle of the sport, offering a comprehensive development pathway.

“This strategic partnership is a testament to the Mounties Group’s overarching commitment to providing diverse opportunities for athletes within our rugby league programs. Building on our recent collaborations, including the Harvey Norman Women’s partnership, this alliance with the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles showcases our dedication to shaping the future of rugby league and creating a holistic pathway for player development,” said Mounties Group President John Dean.

The partnership not only underlines Mounties Rugby League’s commitment to nurturing talent but also exemplifies the Mounties Group’s dedication to providing diverse opportunities for players within its rugby league programs. This collaboration comes on the heels of the recent announcement of Mounties Rugby League’s Harvey Norman Women’s partnership with NRLW Canberra Raiders in early 2023.

“This partnership with the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles marks a significant milestone for Mounties Rugby League. It solidifies our commitment to providing a seamless pathway for our players, from the grassroots level to the elite stage of rugby league. We are excited about the opportunities this collaboration will bring and the positive impact it will have on the development of our athletes,” said Mounties Rugby League Manager, Alex Miller.

The partnership signifies an exciting chapter for both Mounties and Blacktown Workers players, as they embark on a collaborative journey to enrich the rugby league landscape and provide players with the resources and support needed to excel.

“The Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles are delighted to join forces with Mounties Rugby League in this groundbreaking partnership. This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to fostering talent and supporting players on their journey to the highest echelons of the sport. Together, we aim to create a formidable environment for rugby league excellence,” added Todd Darvall, General Manager of Football, Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.