“It’s a funny old game. What am I doing, coaching Fiji at Headingley?” Brian McDermott looks ahead to Fiji’s clash with Australia

After leaving Featherstone Rovers at the end of September, Brian McDermott was surprisingly announced as part of Fiji’s World Cup coaching squad.

For the next few weeks his focus will be with Fiji and as they prepare for their opening game against Australia, McDermott reflects on his situation as he prepares to return to Headingley with his new international side.

Speaking to Leeds Rhinos YouTube the experienced coach had this to say.

“Very much exciting, big challenge playing Australia’s test team. You don’t get many opportunities in a career to test yourself as a coach or a player against the best, so everyone is really looking forward to it.”

The experience with the Fijian squad seems to be one McDermott is embracing and is “humbled” to be a part of their nation’s tournament.

“It’s humbling being with them, they are very passionate. They believe strongly in their own identity and who they are.

“The staff have been brilliant, we are still gathering stuff together and trying to build as the competition goes. The Fiji identity takes getting used to and I’m enjoying it.”

The game being back at Headingley, a ground where he experienced vast amounts of success isn’t lost on McDermott.

“It’s a bit surreal isn’t it! Funny old game where you end up you think what am I doing coaching Fiji at Headingley.”

McDermotts next full time role will be in the NRL with the Newcastle Knights where he will take up an assistant coach role with the club.

“It will be a big job, its almost like starting again when you go out there. So, I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot of new experiences out there and meeting a lot of new people so really looking forward to it.”

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