Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan takes on exciting new role

A Rugby League legend will head Leeds Beckett University’s Rugby League programme through an expanded partnership with Leeds Rhinos that will provide student players a path to the professional game.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who has spent over two decades at the Rhinos as a player and coach, has taken over the programme alongside Darren Higgins from Leeds Rhinos Foundation.

This comes after Buchanan left his role as assistant coach to take on the role of Head of Culture, Diversity and Inclusion at Headingley.

Alongside this, he will also work at the university hoping to expand Leeds Rhinos’ talent pool.

They will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the squad, from leading training sessions at Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley Campus, to selecting and coaching the team on matchdays.

Together with the Rhinos, they are creating a pathway that offers players from Leeds Beckett University the opportunity to follow former students, Alex Walmsley and Jimmy Keinhorst, in making the step up to professional Rugby League.

The partnership is an extension of the university’s long-standing association with the Rhinos and will provide the university’s Rugby League squad with an experienced coaching team who have worked at the highest levels of the sport.

The university has worked with Leeds Rhinos for over a decade, with players, coaches and staff from the club’s men’s, women’s, wheelchair, and netball teams able to access the university’s state-of-the-art facilities and academic support to gain a competitive advantage on the pitch.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Head of Culture, Diversity and Inclusion at Leeds Rhinos and Co-Head of Rugby League at Leeds Beckett, said: “I have a personal affinity with Leeds Beckett University, having studied there between 2003 and 2007, where myself, Kevin Sinfield, Matt Diskin and Willie Poching all earned our respective degrees in Sport and Exercise Science.

“Earning a degree back then was equally as rewarding as collecting a Grand Final ring at Old Trafford. Now, I feel it is important that we develop those historic ties to further ensure both students at the university and Leeds Rhinos players have the opportunity to be the very best versions of themselves.”

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