Wakefield Wildcats have announced Chris Chester as their new head coach.

Chester, 37, takes over from Brian Smith who left the Wildcats earlier this month.

Wakefield chairman Michael Carter told the club’s website: “I am delighted to get Chris on board and look forward to him taking this club forward. There were some excellent candidates who applied and I thank them all for their interest.”

Chester guided Hull KR to the Challenge Cup Final last season, but was dismissed by the Robins after a slow start to the new Super League season in February.

Wakefield-born Chester said: “I am delighted to become Head Coach of Wakefield Wildcats, especially as it is my home town club and a club with a lot of traditions. I have been stood on these terraces as a young kid and I am really proud that I now get to coach this great team.”

Chester’s first game in charge will be this Friday’s trip to the KC Stadium to face Hull FC.

The Wildcats also announced that former head coach John Kear will return to Belle Vue to take up a Director of Rugby role from 2017.

Carter said of Kear: “Having known John for many years, it is great that John wants to join us to lead this club from the front. He will give myself and others at the Club the benefits of his vast knowledge of the game, and I look forward to working side by side with John.”