SACKED York City Knights boss Paul March has been snapped up to lead Championship One rivals Hunslet Hawks – and will be back up against his former charges at the end of the month.

The John Charles Stadium-based club have moved quickly to secure March’s services until the end of the 2009 campaign after he was relieved of his duties at Huntington Stadium on Monday.

March, former player-coach at the Knights, will take over coaching responsibilities from next week, according to a statement on the Hunslet Hawks website.

Gary Lord, who had been acting as caretaker boss, will remain at the club as assistant-coach.

The Hawks come up against the Knights in York in Championship One on July 26.

March, who will come face to face with twin brother David when Hunslet come to York, said: “I am delighted to join a club with aspirations to succeed.

“I didn’t plan to get sacked and obviously this gives me an opportunity to show what I can do, repay Hunslet, and then they will repay me for next year.

“They have set some goals for me and I am up for that challenge. We will take each game as it comes and sit down at the end of the season. Hunslet are a club on the up. At the beginning of the season they signed three Papua New Guinea internationals so there is scope for success.

“What they have lacked is a half-back and I back myself and my ability. Hopefully, we can get them playing some attractive rugby like the York fans have seen. Everyone starts with a clean slate and everyone is going to go out and impress in training.”

“The present arrangements suit both Paul and the Hunslet club,” Hawks CEO Alan Stephenson said. “We will appraise the situation at the end of the season.”

March had led York to second place in the league following a thrilling win over Oldham but was suspended, along with director of rugby James Ratcliffe and four other first team players, following an alleged breach of club discipline during the Leeds Rhinos v Bradford Bulls Super League encounter at Headingley a couple of weeks ago.

The 29-year-old was outspoken about his suspension and, at the start of this week, he was dismissed with Knights general manager Ian Wilson declaring the “Headingleygate” affair was not the only reason.

Wilson said March, who was given the boot for gross misconduct, had been unable to commit to other responsibilities at the club such as DVD reviews of players, identifying players to recruit and watching academy games and developing players.

But March said: “I know what I did on the coaching side. The players know what kind of coach I was and what they got from me regarding their individual performances.

“They were a great bunch of lads to work with.”

Ratcliffe has since been appointed as head coach of the Knights and will remain in place for the 2010 season.

March replaces former Knights centre and assistant-coach Graeme Hallas, who stepped down as Hawks boss last week.

Hallas cited the “under- achievement” of the team as his main reason for resigning.