Steve McCormack – Head of Welfare at Rugby League Cares and former Head coach of the Scotland Rugby League team

January 11, 2021

From a young Wigan lad to the longest standing Rugby League Head Coach for Scotland attending 3 world cups. He has travelled the world, worked at a number of clubs and has found that humour, hard work and remaining humble are key.

It is such a great conversation if you are keen to hear somebody who is striving to be themselves and honest about who they are and have been. Authentic leadership comes to my mind!

Steve is now the Head of Welfare at Rugby League Cares in the UK. He took up the role after heading up the education and welfare position at the Wigan Warriors.

Steve is a highly experienced individual having coached at all levels of the game. He has been Head Coach at Super-League level and also coached the Scotland national team in three world cups and the 2016 Four Nations Competition. Steve made the decision to concentrate on his main passion of player care and wellbeing and ensured the Wigan Warriors welfare structure is one of the best, not only in rugby league but in professional sport. His recent appointment at RL Cares has seen him make a massive impact on the player welfare structure of all players playing in the UK.


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Success quotes or sayings:

Surrounded myself with good people

Humble hard working and respectful were key values to me

Players ended up driving the culture in the best teams I was involved with

Everyone bought into the culture on and off the field

I was often outside my comfort zone

I just worked hard and lived my values

Winning became an obsession

Being a head coach can be a lonely place sometimes

Balance between winning and being driven and making sure you look after yourself enough

Learnt to delegate better and more. Sit back, delegate and trust my staff more has been a massive benefit and learning

I really valued the Sport psychologist input. The value of an impartial and confidential conversation was so helpful

It is very different being head coach to being an assistant coach

I just started putting time as side to spend time with my family – I started to recognise the importance of this. Spending time watching my lad now playing football.

I have become more aware of those around me and valuing the time with them. These are valuable lessons learnt from my early days when I didn’t do this

Recognising the elements of your life away from the sport – business, education, family etc… If only focussed on one thing and its not going well then things may be very difficult.

All coaches get sacked…

If I wrote everything down regarding my career it would be an interesting book.

A peak – being involved in 3 world cups with Scotland especially in 2013 and then the 4 Nations in 2015 (drawing against New Zealand)

You have got to keep those same principles   – humble, hardworking etc…  are non-negotiable and go wherever you go.

I would have to work at a different pace in different environments/clubs. Same principles yet different timelines

Leave the club in a better position/place than when you came

When you leave a club you always want to go back and shake peoples hands

Really valued speaking to other sports and key people in businesses. Go speak to people.

I have learnt to immerse myself more in my family

 (podcasts and autobiographies) It’s just brilliant to look at other peoples perspectives and how they deal with the challenges of life.

Make sure you learn something everyday and be at your best.



Quick fire questions:

The books that you would recommend are?

Legacy by James Kerr by Jim Kerr

Made in Sheffield: Neil Warnock – My Story by Neil Warnock

The Bald Truth: My Life in the World’s Hardest Sport by Keith Senior


How do I prepare to be the best version of myself…

Every morning I speak to myself…..set myself for the day

Laugh everyday! Enjoy what you do!


In one sentence – What advice would you give to your teenage version of yourself?

Work hard

Choose wisely who you spend time with

Ask for help when you need it – we all need help at some time in our life


Who has made a big impact on you?

My dad

My wife  – Rebecca

Dennis Mc Hugh at Wigan

Dave Rotherham


Whos’ Sport Story would you be really interested in hearing?

Can’t think of any specifics…. There are too many



Coaching questions I would like to pose:


What in your life is distracting you away from being truly focussed and how can you change this?


Who do you ask to get the feedback from to help you uncover blind spots to impact positively on your performance?


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