Catalan Dragons will have their first French head coach after appointing Laurent Frayssinous as the successor to Trent Robinson.
Frayssinous, 35, a former Catalan player who joined the coaching staff of the Perpignan club when he hung up his boots in 2007, was on Wednesday given a two-year contract with an option for a third season. Robinson is leaving after two years in the post after being head-hunted by Sydney Roosters to plug the gap created by the departure of Brian Smith.
"It's a new chapter in the Dragons history with the appointment of a French head coach, but I think Laurent is ready," said chairman Bernard Guasch.
Guasch added: "He worked hard during the last six years and we believe that he was the ideal candidate to take the Dragons forward. He is the best person to continue the good job done by Trent Robinson during the last two seasons."
Former French international stand-off Frayssinous, who played in the Dragons' inaugural match in Super League against Wigan in 2006, will be the youngest head coach in Super League in 2013.
Francis Cummins took over that tag from Robinson when he was appointed by Bradford last month, but he is five months older than Frayssinous, whose promotion signals a change of direction by the Dragons.
Frayssinous, who played for Villeneuve before joining the Perpignan club, said: "I'm honoured to become the new head coach and the first French coach in the Dragons history, but it's just the beginning for me. I've worked really hard over the last two years and it's a great reward.
"It was a great opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to taking this next step in my coaching career. I feel I'm ready now."
Since joining Super League six years ago, the team have been coached by Australians, with David Waite initially holding the reins in a temporary capacity until the arrival of Mick Potter.
Frayssinous cut his coaching teeth under Potter and was also right-hand man to Kevin Walters and Robinson at Stade Gilbert Brutus. He was also assistant coach of the France national team from 2007-08.
- Laurent Frayssinous
- Catalan Dragons
- Trent Robinson