Paul Cullen (rugby league)
4 March 1963 |
Warrington, Lancashire, England, UK
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Paul Cullen (born 4 March 1963) is an English professional rugby league football coach and former player. He currently holds the position of Director of Rugby at Widnes of the Super League after being the club's head coach prior to promotion from the Championship. Cullen previously coached Warrington as well as the England national team. He also provides commentary for Sky Sports rugby league coverage.
Cullen joined Warrington in 1980, where he stayed for 17 years. He played mainly in the centre position at the club. Nicknamed "psycho", despite limited attacking flair, Cullen had an aggressive defence which made him a crown favourite.
After ending his playing career in 1996, Cullen moved into coaching. He had spells on the coaching staff at Warrington. He worked in both the under-21s and as assistant coach.
He accepted his first Super League head coaching role at Warrington in August 2002, replacing David Plange.
Cullen successfully steered Warrington away from relegation, by winning 2 games against Halifax and Castleford ending the season with a thumping 50-10 loss at Wakefield., and towards play-off football. It was this success which bought Cullen an extended rein at the helm due to the loyalty of the fans despite falling short of expectations with the playing roster he had.
In 2006 he was appointed the Head Coach of England 'A' ahead of the Federation Shield tournament in the autumn.
On 26 May 2008, following a run of poor form that culminated in a 36-28 to struggling Castleford, Cullen resigned from his position as Head Coach amid heavy pressure from fans and pundits. He was the longest-serving coach in the league at the time of his departure, having spent six years in charge of the Wires and guided them to a Challenge Cup semi-final and a play-off victory.
His replacement at Warrington was James Lowes, who was later replaced by Tony Smith.
Widnes unveiled Paul Cullen as Head Coach on a two-year deal on 9 March 2009. Speaking on his appointment he said "I'm really excited to be joining Widnes. The plan is simple, we need to get Widnes into Super League where we belong". In November 2010, he moved upstairs at the club to become Director of Rugby while Dennis Betts took over his position as Head Coach.