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Leeds Secure Super Kiwi Coach
Posted by southstander on July 11 2007 - 07:43:33

New Boss

Ever since Tony Smith resigned as Rhinos Head Coach to take over as GB 'Top Dog' there has been intense speculation about who would succeed him into the most demanding hot seat in the British game.

Hetheringtons initial intention to recruit a 'top British coach' came to nothing when he found that there weren't any out there who filled those three criteria.

Well, all hail Gary Hetherington. He pulled off a major coup and enticed Brian McClennan away from an increased pay offer from New Zealand to sign a two year deal at Headingley.

Read more here....

McClennan shocked the rugby league world when he was appointed as New Zealand coach in 2005, despite having little coaching pedigree. His previous coaching positions at the Hibiscus Coast Raiders and Mt Albert Lions were complimented by being understudy to now Saints coach Daniel Anderson in the Kiwi set-up. He stunned the critics by leading New Zealand to a stunning 24-0 victory over Australia in the 2005 Tri-Nations final at Elland Road, the first Australian series defeat for almost thirty years.

Brian is the son of ex-Saints supremo Mike McClennan (1990-93) and has been the main target for the Rhinos for several months. He will bring a philosophy of 'the team' rather than individuals when he arrives at the club for pre-season training in December. He has a great knowledge of our Kiwi contingent, who will all be looking forward to teaming up with their ex-national coach, and Gary Hetherington obviously feels that he has the credentials to lift us to the next level.

On the surface of it this looks like a stunning appointment from Hetherington, and McClennan will not have come cheap on his two year deal. The guy has a reputation for getting 110% out of the available resources and of being a master tactician who can plot the undoing of what appear on paper to be far stronger sides.

My only concern is that we have to wait until the end of the current season before Brian arrives. I'd rather that we got him over here now to work with Tony Smith, had that extra boost running towards the end of the season and the play-offs, and put him in the position to manage a smooth hand-over.

Bring it on Brian!

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