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David Waite is to step down from his position as RFL Performance Director at the end of this month in order to take-up a key consultancy role with Perpignan as they prepare for Super League entry in 2006.
Waite has accepted a two year contract with the French club and has also accepted a seperate new contract ,which will see him acting as a consultant to the RFL as the organisation continues to operate the various Performance programmes which make up its World Class Plan.
Waite - who coached Great Britain between 2001 and 2003 - has lead British Rugby League?s drive to become the world?s best playing nation since he joined the RFL as a consultant in the 2000 World Cup.
The former Newcastle Knights and St George-Illawarra Coach will head for France in the New Year where he will begin working with Perpignan coach Steve Deakin. He will also spend some time in the UK.
"I am really happy with these two new challenges", said Waite.
"I believe that Perpignan are on track to make a succesful entry into Super League in 2006 and their playing strength is already developing.
Waite added: "In fact, I am excited by the potential offered by the French game. There are some tremendous young players out there.
"I was involved at the start-up of the Newcastle Knights club in 1988 and we were successful there, so I believe I can assist with making Perpignan a success.
"We aim to make it a ?French? club that doesn?t rely on imported playing talent".
And RFL Executive Chairman Richard Lewis added that David Waite?s new roles will have many benefits for both parties.
"I am really pleased with this new arrangement", said Lewis.
"The RFL retains the benefit of David?s expertise but the new French club will also benefit tremendously. I don?t believe there is anyone better in the world game to help them prepare for entry into Super League".
Lewis added: "It?s important to point out that these are two seperate contracts and David will report directly to Perpignan President Bernard Guasch".
Meanwhile, David Waite revealed that he has a ?good grounding? in the French language from his college days and has already begun additional language courses.