DFP – Head Script

Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

Head Coach

Brian McDermott

Wins 158
Draws 6
Losses 88
Place of Birth


Date of Birth


Coaching History


Playing History

Doncaster, Bradford Bulls, England, Great Britain


Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott is the most successful British coach of the modern era having won four Grand Finals in seven years at the Rhinos along with two Challenge Cups, a World Club Challenge and a League Leaders Shield so far.

In 2017, a year after the Rhinos endured one of the toughest years in the club’s history, McDermott led his side back to Old Trafford to pick up a record-extending eighth Grand Final with victory over Castleford Tigers.

2015 was an incredible year for McDermott who led the Rhinos to an historic treble and was named Super League and UK Sports Coach of the Year. He also took up a new part time position as head coach of the USA Hawks and saw them qualify for the 2017 World Cup.

As well as his honours as Head Coach, McDermott also worked as an Assistant Coach to Tony Smith between 2004 and 2005, helping the team win their first Grand Final in 2004 along with the League Leaders Shield in the same year and the inaugural World Club Challenge title in 2005 against Canterbury Bulldogs at Elland Road.

His first season in charge of the Rhinos in 2011 saw him become the first coach to lead a side to the Super League title from outside the top three as well as taking the Rhinos to Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final.

He followed this up with another remarkable season in 2012, in which he became the first ever English coach to win back to back Super League titles, having already seen his side win a World Club title and reach another Challenge Cup Final.

Brian made his name in Rugby League as a player with Bradford Bulls, where he spent nine years as part of one of their most successful ever sides. His first coaching role was with Huddersfield Giants, before moving to Headingley and then in 2006 he moved south to take up his first Head Coaches role at Harlequins RL.

Brian hails from Wakefield where he was born into a rugby league family, his elder brother Paul having played for a number of clubs as a try-scoring loose forward. However Brian’s later path to Super League and international honours was a little unconventional and in his early teens he moved away from the game and joined the Royal Marines, where in those days rugby league wasn’t played.

Boxing took over during this period as Brian’s premier sporting activity and during the odd game of rugby league at Eastmoor during periods of leave, it became clear that his period in the Marines and in the boxing ring had made him a formidable player on the rugby field. Upon leaving the Marines, Brian successfully trialled for Bradford and after brief periods assisting his father painting and decorating and undertaking one professional boxing match, Brian turned full-time professional at Bradford with the advent of Super League.

In 1996 Brian toured Oceania with Great Britain, making his Test debut against Fiji in Suva and three further caps were gained in the 1997 Ashes Tests against Australia. A member of a number of formidable forward packs at Odsal, Brian was notably one of the infamous ‘fearsome foursome’ the other members being Paul Anderson, Stuart Fielden and Joe Vagana.

Brian’s nine year career at Bradford was one of great success with three Grand Final wins, two Challenge Cup victories and further Yorkshire and England honours. In 2003 Brian retired from playing and joined Huddersfield Giants as Conditioning Coach.

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