Ex-Castleford Tigers man “sad” to leave chapter of his career but “excited” to join Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos haven’t quite completed their business when it comes to on field recruitment.

The Rhinos are still looking for a centre and are expected to sign Leigh Leopards star Nene MacDonald.

However, their recruitment behind the scenes is all but done.

They have restructured their backroom staff. Assistant coach Sean Long has left the club for the Head Coach role at Featherstone Rovers whilst fellow assistant and club legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan has moved to the role of Head of Culture.

Academy coach Chev Walker has been promoted to the role of assistant alongside former Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity star Scott Grix.

This has seen former Wigan Warriors and Hull FC man Tony Smith leave behind Dewsbury Rams to join the academy.

One hole the club had not filled is that of Kevin Sinfield since the Leeds legend left his role of Director of Rugby to become Defence Coach at Leicester Tigers.

It was expected that when Leeds got a new coach, Richard Agar would take on this role but his resignation ensured this would never happen.

Agar had been balancing these duties and those of Head Coach and that burden fell to Rohan Smith but that burden has now been alleviated by the arrival of former Castleford Tigers man Matt Cook to the role of General Manager.

Not quite the same role as Sinfield, Cook will still support all things rugby.

He has recently been working on the Rugby League World Cup and took to Twitter to bid farewell to his fellow organisers as he admitted he was sad to move on but excited by the challenge:

“I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity I’ve had working, learning & making history with such amazing people at the Rugby League World Cup, thanks Jon Dutton and Dean Hardman.

“Sad this chapter is nearly over, but wow I’m so excited for the next chapter with Leeds Rhinos.”

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