Steve McNamara
McNamara leaves England with immediate effect. Getty

The Rugby Football League (RFL) have confirmed the appointment of Wayne Bennett as the new England head coach. Bennett, the most successful coach in Australian rugby league history, has signed a two-year contract ahead of the 2016 Four Nations campaign and the 2017 World Cup.

"I am very excited by the challenge of taking England on to the next level," Bennett said. "From what I have seen I have been impressed by the ambition and energy demonstrated by the team and I look forward to working with a group of players that I believe have what it takes to succeed on the international stage."

Bennett will also continue his role as Brisbane Broncos head coach.

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood, said: "Wayne is quite rightly regarded as the outstanding coach of this generation and I am delighted that we have been able to secure his services.

"This England team has made considerable progress over the last few years and we now possess truly world class players across all positions. These players deserve the very best support and coaching as we attempt to move from contenders into potential winners of international tournaments. I believe that Wayne Bennett is undoubtedly the right man to lead this group forward and enable them to do this".

Bennett's appointment follows the departure of Steve McNamara. The 44-year-old left his post following six years at the England helm after the RFL opted not to renew his contract, which expired at the end of 2015.

McNamara guided England to a 2-1 series victory over New Zealand last year but was not offered a new deal.

A statement from the RFL said: "The RFL has today announced that it will not be renewing Steve McNamara's contract as England head coach. McNamara has been the England coach since 2010 and his most recent contract expired at the end of last year following the New Zealand Test Series."