YORK City Knights will face a London Broncos side on Sunday (3pm) without a permanent head coach following the departure of Danny Ward from the club earlier this week.

It was announced by London that Ward would leave the Betfred Championship club by mutual consent on Monday.

The Broncos explained that Ward had recently approached the club to confirm that he would not be renewing his contract at the end of the 2021 season, as he was exploring other opportunities.

Both parties had agreed that Ward should move on from his current position, London added, to allow a new coach time to plan for next year

Ward had been in charge at the capital club since the start of the 2018 season, when he stepped up from assistant coach following the departure of Andrew Henderson who moved to Betfred Super League giants Warrington Wolves.

In his debut season, the former Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain prop forward led London to promotion to Super League after defeating the much-fancied Toronto Wolfpack at the Lamport Stadium in the Million Pound Game.

Having secured a top-flight return, London gained plenty of admirers for their performances across the 2020 season and were only narrowly relegated on points difference, having finished level on points with Hull Kingston Rovers and just two points behind Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants.

Ward remained at the club upon its return to the Championship but was severely hamstrung by the number of players who left the club and wanted to remain at Super League level.

Around ten players departed London, seven of those to Super League outfits, as a significant rebuild took place ahead of the 2020 season, which was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, the Broncos have fallen behind several of their second-tier rivals in the race for promotion, in particular Toulouse Olympique and Featherstone Rovers, and a move from a full-time to a part-time playing squad was considered.

The likes of Eddie Battye, Olly Ashall-Bott, Dan Norman and Rob Butler joined the 2019 cohort in moving to Super League as personnel again rapidly changed.

Despite those struggles, especially in the early season after consecutive defeats to York, Halifax Panthers and Toulouse, Ward has steadied the ship.

He leaves the club positioned sixth in the table, in the final play-off place and, prior to last week’s 63-14 rout suffered at the unbeaten Featherstone, London were on a four-game winning run.

Former Coventry Bears head coach Tom Tsang, who served in the club’s academy, has been revealed as the man to take interim charge of the team as acting head coach until further notice, with support from head of performance Mike Eccles.

Speaking to the club’s website ahead of the game, Tsang said: “We’re better than the performance we delivered at the weekend against Featherstone.

“We are all professionals, and the squad is determined to deliver a good performance against York at the weekend in front of our home fans.

“We know within the group, we are resourced to fulfil what we have promised through the year. The squad has a massive opportunity to make this season a memorable one.

“The absolute focus of the squad right now is on Sunday’s game.”