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Brian McDermott (rugby league)

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Brian McDermott


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Brian G. McDermott (born 16 March 1970 in Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire) is an English professional rugby league coach and former player. He is the current head coach of Leeds Rhinos in the Super League and the USA national rugby league team. As a player, McDermott was a Great Britain international representative forward who played his entire career at club level for Bradford Bulls, winning Super League Grand Finals and Challenge Cups with them. He began his coaching career in 2003 as an assistant at Huddersfield Giants, taking his first senior coaching role with Harlequins RL in 2006 before joining Leeds as head coach in 2010. McDermott has coached Leeds to several major trophies including the 2011 2012 and 2015 Super League titles, the 2012 World Club Challenge and the 2014 and 2015 Challenge Cups.


Brian McDermott (rugby league) Leeds contact Brian McDermott about their manager39s job

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Brian McDermott (rugby league) Brian McDermott39s first USA World Cup qualifiers revealed

McDermott was a Royal Marine for five years and played amateur rugby league as a junior for Eastmoor RLFC before becoming professional.


Brian McDermott (rugby league) Brian McDermott looks ahead to Saints clash Leeds Rhinos

McDermott joined Bradford Northern in 1994, where he stayed for 10 years. He played for Bradford at prop forward in their 1996 Challenge Cup Final loss to St. Helens. McDermott won a cap for England while at Bradford Bulls in 2001 against Wales, and won caps for Great Britain while at Bradford in 1996 against Fiji, and in 1997 against Australia (SL) (3 matches). McDermott played for Bradford Bulls from the interchange bench in the 1999 Super League Grand Final which was lost to St. Helens.


Brian McDermott (rugby league) Brian McDermott the marine who became a worldbeater with

McDermott played for the Bradford Bulls at prop forward in their 2001 Super League Grand Final victory against the Wigan Warriors. As Super League VI champions, the Bulls played against 2001 NRL Premiers, the Newcastle Knights in the 2002 World Club Challenge. McDermott played as a prop forward in Bradford's victory. He also played for Bradford from the interchange bench in their 2002 Super League Grand Final loss against St. Helens. After ending his playing career in 2003, McDermott moved into coaching.

Harlequins RL

Brian McDermott (rugby league) Boxer Brian McDermott prepares for return From York Press

McDermott had spells on the coaching staff at Super League clubs Huddersfield Giants and Leeds before accepting his first top-flight head coaching role at Harlequins in July 2006, replacing Tony Rea. McDermott won his first match as a Head Coach against Castleford Tigers. He went on to claim 5 wins and 4 losses in the remainder of 2006. McDermott remained at Harlequins for a further four seasons but did not make the play-offs in any of those years, the 7th-place finish in 2006 being his highest with Harlequins.

Leeds Rhinos

McDermott left Harlequins and returned to Leeds at the end of the 2010 season. On 25 October 2010, following the resignation of incumbent coach Brian McClennan, it was announced that McDermott would take over as head coach at Headingley on a three-year contract.

McDermott coached Leeds to the 2011 Challenge Cup Final which was lost to Wigan. However, McDermott guided Leeds to Super League glory at Old Trafford against St Helens, astonishingly from 5th place in the league. McDermott replicated the same feat in 2012, where Leeds won the World Club Challenge against Manly Sea Eagles. They reached the 2012 Challenge Cup Final, but were beaten by Warrington. Two months later, the two sides met again in the 2012 Super League Grand Final which Leeds won for the 6th time in nine years making it two out of two for McDermott in his first two years as head coach.

By coincidence, on 12 April 2013 Leeds United announced their new manager as Brian McDermott, meaning that both the rugby league and football teams in the city of Leeds had managers with the same name as the other. Both sides also had players by the name of Ryan Hall at the same time, one a 25-year-old winger for the rugby league side, the other a 25-year-old winger for Leeds United.

In 2014 McDermott coached Leeds to their first Challenge Cup win since 1999 but they crashed out of the playoffs against Catalans Dragons after finishing 6th in the league, their worst position since 1996.

In 2015 McDermott coached Leeds to a historic treble, winning the Challenge Cup 50-0, scoring a last second try against Huddersfield Giants to win the League Leaders' Shield and beating Wigan Warriors in a major final for the first time by 22-20 in the Grand Final. McDermott was a nominee for BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award at the end of the season.


In 2015, McDermott was named head coach of the United States national rugby league team, combining the job with his role at Leeds. His first outing as coach of the USA Hawks was in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers, in which he guided the USA to victories over Jamaica and Canada and subsequently qualified for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. After qualifying for the tournament he announced he'd stay on as the US coach until at least the end of the 2017 World Cup.


  • Super League (3): 1997, 2001, 2003
  • League Leaders' Shield (3): 1999, 2001, 2003
  • Challenge Cup (2): 2000, 2003
  • World Club Challenge: 2002
  • Coach

  • Super League (3): 2011, 2012, 2015
  • League Leaders' Shield (1): 2015
  • Challenge Cup (2): 2014, 2015
  • World Club Challenge: 2012
  • References

    Brian McDermott (rugby league) Wikipedia

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