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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

Morley set for new challenge after Rhinos

10th September 2017 | 10:00 pm

By Phil Daly

Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain legend Adrian Morley will embark on a new challenge in 2018 after completing his one year contract with the Rhinos coaching staff.

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Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain legend Adrian Morley will embark on a new challenge in 2018 after completing his one year contract with the Rhinos coaching staff.

Morley, 40, returned to his first club this season to work in the club’s youth development team and with the first team squad. However, he has opted to leave the club to take up a career opportunity in construction recruitment with Frameworks Recruitment.

Frameworks Recruitment have bases in Manchester, Wakefield and Durham and work within the construction and rail recruitment sectors.

Commenting on the move, Morley said, “Firstly, I would like to thank Gary Hetherington and Brian McDermott for giving me the opportunity to return to the Rhinos and gain experience from the great coaching staff we have in place at the club. This opportunity has emerged to be part of a new company and it is something I am keen to be part of moving forward. Whilst recruitment is new to me, the people involved at Frameworks Recruitment have a combined experience in the industry of over 50 years and I am looking forward to the challenge of testing myself in that environment.

“I will always remain a Rhino and look forward to watching the club develop and grow over the next few years especially the young players I have had the good fortune to work with throughout this year,” added Morley.

The Great Britain international retired from playing in 2015 and worked at Salford Red Devils in 2016 before returning to the Rhinos.

When Morley left Leeds at the age of only 23, he had made 149 appearances for the Rhinos, been on a Lions tour to New Zealand, starred against the touring Australians and, memorably, gained a Challenge Cup winners medal with a typically forceful and courageous performance at Wembley. He made his debut for Leeds having signed from Eccles near Salford where he was born, in April 1995 after a short apprenticeship in the Academy ranks. On his first full appearance at Thrum Hall a week later he  registered his first try for the club.

Adrian left Leeds at the end of the 2000 season to join former coach Graham Murray at the Sydney Roosters. His first season was punctuated by injuries and suspension and he found himself moved up from the second row to prop. 2002 was to be the year though for Morley as he took the NRL by storm and proved to be one of the world’s best. The Roosters recorded their first Premiership win in over twenty years.

Morley made 23 appearances for England and won 30 caps for Great Britain as well as captaining his country following a successful spell as skipper of Warrington on his return to Super League. He finished his career at his home town club of Salford to bring an incredible 20-year journey full circle. He remains the only British player to have won a Super League and NRL Grand Final.

Commenting on the announcement, Head Coach Brian McDermott said, “Adrian has expressed to us how excited he is about this new opportunity for him and leaves with our best wishes and gratitude for all he has done for the club as a player and in the past year as part of our backroom team. I have enjoyed working alongside him and we have learned a lot from each other. It has been good to have him around the group this season especially with his experience here and in the NRL and I am sure he will remain a close friend of the club.”

Chief Executive Gary Hetherington added, “We understand that this is a fantastic opportunity for Adrian and a chance to take advantage of a new career pathway. For all players, the challenge of life after their playing days is always a big question mark. Adrian deserves credit for how he has tested himself, just as he did during his field on the career, over the past few years and I am sure this new challenge will see him apply the same level of determination and tenacity that we witnessed throughout his career.

“We have already announced that Rob Burrow will be joining our youth development team for next season and in terms of the first team, Chev Walker will have more of an involvement. Chev has impressed Brian McDermott since his return to the club last summer with his work on talent identification and in the community and has been working with the first team squad for a number of weeks.”