Leeds Rhinos announce coaching coup

Leeds Rhinos have announced that John Bastian will return to the club in a newly created position as Player Pathway Development Manager, taking up his new role from 1st October 2021. 

Bastian worked with the club on the scholarship programme in the early 2000s, coming through the coaching pathway to become Head of Youth Development before moving away from the Rhinos in 2008. He has had spells at Warrington Wolves, Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers and Hull KR since then.

Commenting on returning to Emerald Headingley, Bastian said, “I am delighted to be re-joining Leeds Rhinos. Ultimately, my time at the club played a big part in my development as a coach between 2000 and 2008. The club have progressed since then and I am coming back at a really exciting time. The role will involve working with junior players from 13 through to 20 years of age, linking up closely with the community game, working alongside our coaches and with Simon Bell and Ben Jones.

“Leeds have always produced some really talented young players and that has been a big part of what has been achieved at Leeds. We will be looking to add quality to that and help it progress and be a little bit better in the years ahead.

“I have been fortunate to work with a number of clubs and the experience of working in different environments has been vital to my development. It has been great to be part of all the clubs that I’ve worked at and those experiences can only add to the qualities that I have developed.

“At the Rhinos this season, you can see with the young players who have progressed and been given the opportunities they are getting, that youth development is a key part of the plans at Emerald Headingley under Richard Agar. As someone who works in player development that is a big plus when you know development is part of the clubs philosophy and our job is to make sure the flow of junior players through the pathway into first grade continues,” added Bastian.

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