Former Leeds Rhinos prop Peacock revelling in new role at Hull KR

Jamie Peacock
Jamie Peacock
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HULL KR’S new head of rugby Jamie Peacock has revealed Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott thought he could have joined him in the coaching ranks at Headingley.

Former England captain Peacock brought his illustrious career – and a decade with the Rhinos – to a close in fine fashion by helping Leeds to the treble this season.

He has now taken up his new role working for their Super League rivals, beginning life after playing.

Peacock is currently working two days a week at KC Lightstreams Stadium before going full-time in January and he admits he is already enjoying the change of scenery overseeing a raft of off-field matters.

However, Peacock, who turned 38 on Monday, did concede that he once thought about staying more hands on.

“Brian Mac was interested in me becoming a coach and I think it is something I could do – I firmly believe that,” he said.

“But I find this more interesting; you have more time in this role to implement real change.

“Sometimes I think it can be too week-to-week as a coach.

“I like to think a little bit deeper about things and think where do the pieces of the jigsaw actually fit to make a long-term difference to a place whereas you have to be a brave person to be a coach. It is a very difficult position.

“And also I want to go on holiday in the summer! I don’t want weekends, every week, to be judged by the game and ruin my Saturdays and Sundays.

“Now, I will be involved, but more as a spectator. Game day is more about the coaches.”

Peacock is in charge of Hull KR’s football department working with head coach Chris Chester but also looking at issues such as recruitment.

“What I’m basically involved in currently is implementing a high-performance plan within the rugby department, and making sure that is seen through,” he said.

“There are 10 key objectives which need to be met and in this run-up to Christmas, it’s just ensuring that within pre-season everybody has met the standards that they set out to achieve right at the beginning.

“I’m more involved with the standards of the staff but the players have their standards to meet for the staff too.

“It’s me implementing a structure that holds everybody accountable within that and making sure that everybody delivers on what they said they’d do.

“I’m making sure there’s a structure that runs throughout the department throughout pre-season and the season too.”

Asked about his role in recruitment for 2016 – Chris Clarkson, Thomas Minns and Robbie Mulhern have all arrived from Leeds – he added: “I’ve had a lot of input into the squad but it’s about understanding the strengths of it and where’s best to spend the salary cap.

“Sometimes, a head coach’s job is incredibly demanding without everything else that goes on around it.

“The coaches that have been at Leeds in the past have been incredibly lucky to have people around them who can off-load that pressure.

“Chris Chester has not particularly had that here, and my role will allow me to take that administration, long term, away from him that as a head coach you’re not able to do on the week-to-week, ‘we’ve got to win’ mentality.

“I’ve been able to have some input into the side and identified where the squad needed to be strengthened.

“Clearly, it lacked strength in depth last year. When they were fully fit they were able to match anybody; they beat some of the top sides in the Cup and the league.

“That’s at full strength, but getting into the eight in Super League, you’re not going to have that every week and squad numbers 18 to 25 do as much as one to 17.”