Tracey Robinson appointed as the new head coach of Leeds Rhinos Netball

Five weeks from the start of the season and more than four months since the departure of Dan Ryan, Leeds Rhinos Netball finally have a new head coach.

By Nick Westby
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 1st January 2022, 8:39 am

Tracey Robinson, an Australian who most recently coached the Malaysia national team and has served as an assistant for the New South Wales Swifts, will lead the Rhinos into the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

Robinson comes with a reputation for identifying and developing emerging talent, having worked with a number of athletes who have gone on to represent the Australian Diamonds.

Robinson, who led Malaysia to two international trophies, said: “I am so excited to be joining the club, the girls have been so welcoming and the whole organisation has been fantastic towards me so I am ready to get over there and start working with the girls.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Great season: Rhinos, including Brie Grierson, reached the play-offs in their inaugural season of the Vitality Netball Superleague. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

“I have watched every game the team has played in, so it’s been really good to see their growth from last year even into the pre-season this year.

“They are a really close-knit bunch and I am looking forward to working with them and developing them a bit more.

“I had a meeting with them a couple of weeks ago and I have had a Facetime with (captain) Jade Clarke so it’s been really good to connect with them before I get over.

“Most of the communication has been done by email and they have been really open so it’s going to be exciting I think. Getting them on court and actually working with them and understanding them and communicating with them is really important, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Talent: Leeds Rhinos' Rhea Dixon. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

Robinson is due to fly out to the UK in the next week from her home in Australia and will join up with the team in pre-season ahead of the new Superleague campaign which begins for the Rhinos on February 6 against reigning champions Loughborough Lightning.

Dan Busfield, franchise director of Leeds Rhinos Netball, added: “We are delighted that Tracey is joining the Rhinos. We believe we have secured a coach who fits the Rhinos culture and we can’t wait for her to join up with the team.

“Tracey will continue to work with Maggie Birkinshaw as assistant coach, who has been fantastic over the last few months leading the team in pre-season.

“If we needed any confirmation we had the right person, Tracey comes with a glowing reference from Australian netball legend Norma Plummer who I have personally been in contact with.

“The season is just over a month away and I know Tracey can’t wait to get over here to get stuck into training and we are all thrilled to have her as part of our team.”

Rhinos have been without a coach since Ryan returned to Australia in August for family reasons. He steered Rhinos to a top-four finish and a play-off berth in their inaugural season in Superleague.

Rhinos will play their home games across three Yorkshire venues in the 2022 season; first direct Arena in Leeds, Assam Sports Centre in Hull and the EIS in Sheffield.