Leeds Rhinos stalwart Francis Cummins has been promoted to be Tony Smith's Assistant following the departure of Brian McDermott to Harlequins RL this weekend.
Leeds Rhinos stalwart Francis Cummins has been promoted to be Tony Smith's Assistant following the departure of Brian McDermott to Harlequins RL this weekend. Cummins, 29, retired at the end of last season after 12 years as a player with the Rhinos and is the sixth highest try scorer of all time for the club with 188 tries since making his debut as a 16 year old back in 1993. He joined the Rhinos from St John Fisher ARL and has worked under six coaches during his time at Headingley Carnegie. Commenting on his appointment Head Coach Tony Smith said, "We always had a senior coaching position in mind for Francis and now that the opportunity has arisen I am pleased to promote him to be my assistant. He is a true professional both on and off the field and he has impressed everyone over the past 18 months with how he has taken to coaching. "Another factor that is particularly pleasing is that Francis is a Leeds man through and through. He has played at the club since he was a youngster and knows how much it means to represent this great club. It is great that we have people within our organisation that we can promote from within and know that we are replacing quality with quality. "Brian McDermott has been a great contributor to my coaching and I am grateful for all the effort he has put in. He is leaving with our blessings and I wouldn't be surprised if he was to return to the Rhinos one day as a possible head coach. It has been a great partnership and I'm looking forward to the next one with Francis Cummins," added Smith.