Ex-Leeds Rhinos coach reveals how NRL move came about

Brian McDermott is Super League’s most successful coach.

After a strong playing career with the Bradford Bulls, the Wakefield born McDermott turned to coaching.

Following a strong spell with Harlequins, McDermott took over at Leeds after a successful period for the club and won four Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups, a League Leaders’ Shield and a World Club Challenge prior to his exit in 2018.

He has since guided Toronto Wolfpack to promotion but didn’t quite have the same impact at Featherstone Rovers in 2022 leading to his resignation.

Not long after that he made the move to join Newcastle Knights, the club who yesterday signed Huddersfield Giants’ Will Pryce and Wigan Warriors’ Kai Pearce-Paul, and speaking on their club website, McDermott has revealed how the move came about.

“I had a conversation with coach Adam O’Brien some weeks ago before the job was confirmed, I spoke to him on zoom and there was a connection instantly some of his philosophies so we carried on speaking and as things panned out there was an opportunity and I was on the plane instantly.

“I can sense that pressure and expectation. But those values align with me.”

In his mind the move is a very big one for himself:

“Pretty big, it’s been a big move. I think the whole process, when it was confirmed that I was coming it dawned on me just how big of a move this is.

“Not just the logistics of getting out here, but a career path. It’s a fortunate thing to happen.”

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