SMITH AND POWELL EXTEND RHINOS STAY

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Tony Smith and Director of Rugby Daryl Powell will be extending their stay at Headingley following the Rhinos success in 2004.

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Tony Smith and Director of Rugby Daryl Powell will be extending their stay at Headingley following the Rhinos success in 2004, Smith is now confirmed as First Team Coach to the end of 2006, Powell will then take over for a further two years. Powell stood down as first team coach after two and a half years in the job on November 1st 2003 to oversee the Rhinos Academy and Youth Development scheme, a position he had previously held after retiring in 2000 after a 16 year playing career which included 33 Caps for Great Britain. The announcement of Smiths appointment in August 2003 came as a surprise as Rhinos were leading the Super League competition and had narrowly failed to win the Challenge Cup in Cardiff earlier in the season. The Rhinos explained the controversial move was part of the clubs succession planning over the next five years. Powell, who is also coaching the Ireland RL team and will oversee a new partnership arrangement with the Rhinos and York City Knights in 2005 said "I am naturally looking forward to coaching the Rhinos first team again but Tony has done a great job and it makes sense to leave things in place. We have a very stable organisation which can be successful for years to come. Indeed our mission statement is to "provide the Rhinos with a world class squad of Super League players who have all progressed through our system by 2009", and I am confident we can deliver" Tony Smith began his coaching career as assistant coach with Adelaide Rams in 1997 before moving onto Parramatta Eels to work with his brother Brian. In 2001 he took over at Huddersfield Giants and whilst they were relegated in his first season, they bounced back with a Grand Final win and promotion to the Super League. Smith said "I have thoroughly enjoyed my first season at the Rhinos and I will be eternally grateful to Gary Hetherington and Daryl Powell for giving me the opportunity. Things have gone very well and I am pleased and honoured to be staying for another two years. The team has so much potential and the staff are a great bunch to work with. The club is certainly going places and I am delighted to be part of it" Gary Hetherington, Rhinos Chief Executive said "It’s a logical move. Tony and Daryl have contributed so much to what has been an outstanding year and we can be confident our future is in good hands.