HE played in two World Cups as a player, but now Rhys Lovegrove is looking to the future at forward-thinking Keighley Cougars.

The 32-year-old Australian has had a baptism of fire since being appointed as head coach at Cougar Park in June.

Keighley, who have two games left of the current season starting at Doncaster on Sunday, are third-from-bottom in Betfred League One after a rollercoaster ride of a season. After quickly clawing back the 12-point pre-season deduction, the second half of the campaign has proved more stop-start, as Lovegrove looks to stamp his own authority on the squad.

Existing squad members galore, including utility player Dan Parker and Macauley Hallett, have signed contract extensions. But Lovegrove, who played for Scotland after qualifying via his mother as part of their 2008 and 2013 World Cup squads, says a series of new additions will arrive at Cougars during pre-season.

But Lovegrove, who started his career at St George-Illawarra Dragons before playing for Hull KR from 2007, says he only wants to recruit the right characters to add to the existing positive culture at Cougars.

He said: "There is a good culture here, that's the most important thing in a rugby league team. If you have that, it means everything.

"When you have that culture you need to build on that without disrupting it. There's going to be a few new players.

"I'm going to have a meeting with my staff on what I expect next year. We still need the foundations in place, if we bring in new people. Getting things in place is really important to us. I don't want to go over the same things next year with the players that I have already this year. I expect them to be learned by them."

Lovegrove, who was forced to retire from playing after a series of concussions during his spell in rugby union at Wharfedale, says he feels right at home at forward-thinking Cougars and wants to match the progress made off the field, on it.

He also understands a push towards promotion to the Betfred Championship is the priority next season, starting with a steadier pre-season, due to start on November 5, than last winter's.

Lovegrove said: "I'm a big, big believer that we're all part of the Cougars brand.

"We are all on the same page with the same goal. My job is to make sure the product on the field is viable and draws the crowd in.

"We're more of a forward-thinking club. What the owners are doing off the field is outside the norm. We're thinking outside the box.

"The margin for error is very skinny. They (the squad) understand how we want to play.

"There's no point in going on to a rugby field if you don't want to win. We're putting a team together.

"We can't wait for a good, solid pre-season to bed them in. That's the most frustrating thing.

"We're learning things every week as the comp is going on. We're seeing some things that we can't tackle during games. We had no pre-season. We want to see more like the first 25 minutes against Whitehaven (which Cougars eventually lost 28-19 but led at half-time).

"I'm not on the phone as much, putting out fires with daft things now. The last four weeks I've been doing more coaching."

Meanwhile, Kieran Moran has become the latest name to pledge his future to Keighley. The prop forward has signed a new one-year deal at Cougar Park, keeping the forward at the club until the end of the 2020 season.