Barry McDermott: Leeds Rhinos’ next head coach appointment is the biggest of them all

The Leeds players look sad as they lose to St. Helens

The Leeds players look sad as they lose to St. Helens

Barry McDermott believes the Leeds Rhinos will face the decision of their most important head coach in the history of the Betfred Super League as the search for a replacement for Richard Agar continues.

Agar stepped down two weeks ago after nearly three years in charge after a difficult start to the 2022 season for the Rhinos, with his assistant and former Leeds player Jamie Jones-Buchanan taking over on an interim basis.

Since then, Leeds have been knocked out of the Betfred Challenge Cup by the Castleford Tigers and lost 26-0 to Live on St. Helens in Headingley on Friday. Sky Sports Which led to their fifth straight home defeat – the worst start to a season at home in club history.

Speaking before the saints, Sky Sports McDermott, a rugby league expert and member of the Rhinos Hall of Fame, expressed his concern and spoke about the importance of choosing a new head coach.

“It’s a disaster, isn’t it?” McDermott says Sky Sports. “I was just like everyone else, looking for a team that should have competed and for which the top-four finishing was a realistic end and goal for them.

“But they are in big trouble now, no doubt about it. They are missing the key players and the spirit of the Rhinos and they are missing a leader, be it a coach or to show their way on the field.

“It simply came to our notice then. The two are not firing half-backs, their confidence is low and the leader they need in terms of that coach is not there.

Sky Sports assesses the current predicament facing Leeds as fans pose the big question - where will they go from here?  Rhinos interim head coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan joined the talks.

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Sky Sports assesses Leeds’ current predicament as fans ponder the big question – where will they go from here? Rhinos interim head coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan joined the talks.

Sky Sports assesses Leeds’ current predicament as fans ponder the big question – where will they go from here? Rhinos interim head coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan joined the talks.

“This is the biggest coaching appointment in the history of the Super League for the Leeds Rhinos.”

McDermott, who played for Leeds from 1995 to 2005, would like to see Jones-Buchanan be part of the Rhinos coaching set-up and Danny McGuire, now assistant to Tony Smith, the former Rhinos head coach at Hall Kingston Rovers. , Very involved.

He also suggested bringing back Super League Grand Final and Challenge Cup winner Brian McDermott, who is currently in charge of the Betfred Championship high-flyer Featherstone Rovers, as head coach after guiding Leeds to four Grand Final wins between 2011 and 2018.

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but all you can do is bring it to the people in the club now,” McDermott said.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Leeds Rhinos and St. Helens.

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Leeds Rhinos and St. Helens.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Leeds Rhinos and St. Helens.

“Jonsi is a cultural architect. If you bring Danny McGuire, he will force change and embrace it, and Brian McDermott will lead it – it will be my trio.

“I see some of these senior players now, I think they have to show leadership. Not just on the field, how they behave, how they train and the example they set for young players.

Jones-Buchanan: I was inspired by what I saw

Leeds are now second from bottom, having lost for the sixth time in the Super League this season, but interim boss Jones-Buchanan were thrilled to see their performance after losing to St. Helens.

“It was a tough result,” said the seven-time grand finalist. “From the age of four, I never talked about the performance of teachers and instructors, it was always a win-win situation for me, but this week I got it.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan reflects Leeds Rhinos' 26-0 loss to St. Helens in the Betfred Super League

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Jamie Jones-Buchanan reflects Leeds Rhinos’ 26-0 loss to St. Helens in the Betfred Super League

Jamie Jones-Buchanan reflects Leeds Rhinos’ 26-0 defeat to St. Helens in the Betfred Super League

“I was desperate for a performance or of course a reaction and we got the symptoms. 26-0 at home will never be good enough for Leeds Rhinos but I think there are some building blocks, I was encouraged by some of what I saw.

“I know St. Helens was missing some high quality players but you added [Leeds players] David Fusitua, Harry Newman, Richie Myler, Jane Tetevano and Brad Dwyer are in that mix and you’re going to start playing a few more plays and things look a bit different.

“I’m excited to see the tools I was able to work with next week. We asked some questions but not enough zip or speed. We weren’t patient enough to make a game, but we got there. “

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