Rea leaves Broncos
12:32pm Monday 5th May 2014 in © Press Association 2014
London Broncos have announced Tony Rea will leave his role as head coach with immediate effect to be replaced by Joe Grima.
Rea, who has had a long association with the club, returned to coach the side for the second time in 2012, taking over from Rob Powell.
However, the last few months have been turbulent for the Broncos, who lost most of their playing squad from last season and faced a future of uncertainty until they eventually secured a future at Barnet's The Hive.
While the club have rebuilt, they have lost their opening 11 fixtures in the First Utility Super League and sit bottom of the standings, with Rea now taking the opportunity to pass on the reins to assistant Grima, who will be in charge for the rest of this season and their 2015 campaign.
Chairman David Hughes said: "Tony was instrumental in saving the club. In hindsight maybe it was far too late but we did save the club.
"So it's a big thank you to him for assembling the squad and putting us in a position to go forward.
"We're about halfway through out season and it was always intended that Joey would take over as head coach towards the end of this year and certainly for next year. He has agreed to do that."
Rea ended his playing career with the Broncos in 1996 and went on to occupy roles as head coach and chief executive officer before returning to Australia in 2008, where he took up a position as assistant coach with rugby union side the Brumbies.
He became head coach of the Brumbies in 2011 after Andy Friend was sacked two games into the season before returning to London the following year, where he took charge of the Broncos on an interim basis before taking the role permanently soon after.
Rea said: "It was always intended that I wouldn't be here next year. The troubles of the recent past have been well documented and they took a lot of dealing with but we got the club up and functioning. We've had a difficult start to the season but that's about to change.
"In planning for the future, both short and long term, we thought it was best for all of us, the club and myself, that we give Joey the opportunity to take the club on.
"I would like to thank everyone. I feel we're going to have a great back half of the season and part of me is disappointed not to be a part of that but I also accept that it's the best thing to do."