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  1. ITV Report

Keiron Cunningham: 'It's like holding your baby for the first time'

St Helens new coach Keiron Cunningham has told ITV News that his appointment was the 'proudest moment of his career'.

Kieron joined the St Helens back-room staff after bringing his 17-year playing career to a halt four years ago, assisted then general manager Mike Rush for most of the 2012 season following the departure of Royce Simmons and acted as the right-hand man to Brown for the last two years.

Cunningham, who insists he is ready for the role, was the logical choice to take over from Brown, who stepped down after the Grand Final in order to take his young family home to Australia.

I've always seen myself as a leader. From being young, it's something I've always done. I never knew the timing but I swore to my wife that I was never going to rush into it. I've seen too many great players who have probably gone into a head coach's role a little bit too soon. They thought they knew everything but fell flat on their face.

I'm quite a humble person and, if I wasn't ready, I wouldn't have taken the job.

– Kieron Cunningham, St Helens coach
Keiron Cunningham is one of St Helens all time greats. Credit: PA

The appointment is sure to go down well with supporters, who in 2010 overwhelmingly selected him from a list of all-time greats to be the subject of a bronze, life-size statue, which was erected in the town centre and relocated to Langtree Park when St Helens moved into their new stadium three years ago.

Cunningham, who made 419 appearances for his home-town club from 1993 to 2010, is Saints' first British coach for 14 years and the first man to coach his home-town club since Alex Murphy held the reins from 1985 to 1990.

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