Former Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott back in business - with Championship strugglers Oldham

In one of rugby league’s more surprising developments, former Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott is back in the game, with Betfred Championship strugglers Oldham.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:54 am
Brian McDermott. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

McDermott is the most successful coach in Rhinos’ and Super League’s history, having won four Grand Finals, the Challenge Cup twice, a league leaders’ shield and the World Club title during eight seasons in charge at Emerald Headingley.

After being sacked by Leeds in 2018, he steered Toronto Wolfpack into the top-flight, but they withdrew from the competition last summer.

He has now been appointed as a coaching consultant at Oldham until the end of the season and will meet his players and staff at training for the first time at training today (Tuesday).

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Oldham are second from bottom in the Championship and parted company with boss Matt Diskin - a former Leeds player and Batley Bulldogs coach - last month.

McDermott told Oldham’s club website he and chairman Chris Hamilton are old friends.

He said: “Chris and I go back a long way, all the way back to 1997 in fact and I have always held him in high regard for the way he has run the club over many years and for the way he has conducted himself in his chairmanship of the club.

“Due to unfortunate circumstances, Oldham find themselves in a relegation battle.

“Chris asked me for help and advice. We met for talks and I am pleased to say I will come on board at Roughyeds as a coaching consultant until the end of the season.”

McDermott added: “Matt Diskin will have put good systems and coaching philosophies in place, of that I’m sure, so I won’t be coming in to turn the place upside down or anything like that.

“Sometimes, a different voice, a new perspective and a change of personnel can make the difference.”

Hamilton described McDermott’s appointment as “a huge capture for the club and one I am sure will be massively welcomed by all concerned, especially our supporters”.

He said: “His marvellous record as player and coach speaks for itself.

“More than that, he is his own man and that was very much part of the appeal in talking to him.

“I have always had a lot of respect for Brian and I don’t think we could have got anyone better in the situation we are in.”

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