KEIGHLEY Cougars have lost their assistant coach ahead of the new season.

At the start of the month, the Betfred League 1 side confirmed that Hedges had signed on for 2024, and would carry on in his role as Matt Foster’s assistant coach.

The pair almost guided Cougars to Championship survival, only for the club to be relegated on the final day thanks to a narrow defeat against the London Broncos.

And now the Broncos have inflicted further pain on Keighley by taking Hedges away from them.

He has joined the capital club to become part of their backroom team, having been recommended to London’s head coach Mike Eccles by another familiar name.

Rhys Lovegrove was sacked by Keighley in May after a poor run of form, later linking up with Eccles as the Broncos’ assistant head coach, with the pair leading the club to a shock promotion into Super League last month.

Australian coach Lovegrove has now left London in order to take up a post as Hull Kingston Rovers’ academy head coach.

But Lovegrove remains good friends with Eccles, and alerted him to the talents of Hedges, who he worked with at Keighley too.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Rhys Lovegrove (right) has helped Jordie Hedges get a well-deserved elevation into Super League.Rhys Lovegrove (right) has helped Jordie Hedges get a well-deserved elevation into Super League. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

Before moving into coaching, Hedges had played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Doncaster, before being forced into an early retirement by a knee injury.

Eccles told the Broncos’ club website: “Jordie has done an excellent job in the background at Keighley over the past few seasons and has come highly recommended by our good friend Rhys Lovegrove and all of the players that have worked with him.

“Having retired early due to injury from a very promising career, Jordie has become a career coach from an early age.

“I’m sure that Jordie’s skill set, temperament and approach to coaching will complement Ryan (Sheridan) and myself very well.”

Unlike with Hedges, Keighley knew they were preparing for 2024 without Lloyd Roby, whose departure from Cougar Park was confirmed in September.

But the 24-year-old’s new club was not confirmed until earlier this week, with the Widnes Vikings announcing that he was returning to them on a one-year deal.

Roby, a full-back or winger, came through Widnes’ academy, scoring 23 tries in 52 first-team appearances between 2017 and 2022.