Richie Mathers returns to Leeds Rhinos for “specialist coaching” role

Richie Mathers was part of Leeds’ golden generation of homegrown talent.

An East Leeds amateur alongside fellow Rhinos star Danny McGuire, he made his Leeds debut in 2002. He was then a sporadic presence in Leeds’ side throughout a successful 2003 in which he got to learn from former Super League Champion Gary Connolly who secured the Lance Todd trophy that year in the Challenge Cup Final.

The following season, Mathers forced his way into Leeds’ first choice 13 ahead of Connolly with his skillset with ball in hand as well as a superb game defensively making him the ideal number one for Tony Smith’s soaring Rhinos.

He played a key role in Leeds’ Grand Final win over Bradford that season and was subsequently awarded the number one shirt ahead of 2005. That season he played in both major finals and scored in Leeds’ World Club Challenge win over Canterbury.

Unfortunately, an injury riddled 2006 campaign would be the last time he played for his home town club making the switch to Gold Coast in 2007 as he looked to establish himself in the NRL.

Over the next decade, following a return to Super League, he’d play for the likes of Wigan, Castleford, Wakefield and Warrington under former boss Tony Smith.

But, after 15 years away from Headingley, Mathers is back with Leeds to take on a “specialist coaching” role as he himself revealed on Twitter.

In many ways the perfect fullback in his playing days especially during his time at Leeds in which he was the ideal all-rounder, Mathers has been tasked with developing the next crop of exciting fullbacks at Leeds with some specialist fullback training.

On taking on the role, Mathers said on Twitter: “Honour to be asked back to Leeds Rhinos to do some specialist coaching with the young fullbacks. What a club.”

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