Leeds have agreed a three-year contract with South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant coach David Furner to become the club’s new head coach from next year.
The 47-year-old will return to Emerald Headingley after playing the final two years of his playing career at the Rhinos between 2003 and 2004. He played his last ever game at Old Trafford as he helped the Rhinos beat Bradford Bulls in the Grand Final.
Furner has been with the Rabbitohs since 2017, initially working with Michael Maguire before assisting Anthony Seibold this season as they returned to the top four of the NRL.
On returning to Leeds, Furner said: “First of all, it is fantastic to be heading back to a club where I have so many fantastic memories from my playing days.
“I would like to say thank you to the board of directors, Gary Hetherington and Kevin Sinfield for offering me this opportunity and I am looking forward to helping the club progress in the future. I know that Kevin and the team are working hard to get through The Qualifiers at present and I have every confidence they will do that with the backing of the fantastic fans at the Rhinos.
“I have had two wonderful seasons at the Rabbitohs and this was not a decision that I took lightly.
“Returning to England is something my family and I are excited about come the end of the season, in the meantime, I am looking to finishing my time at South Sydney in the best possible fashion and wish Kevin and the team good luck for the remainder of their campaign starting on Sunday at Widnes.”
On the appointment of Furner, Rhinos’ director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “We are delighted to have secured Dave’s services at the Rhinos especially given his outstanding coaching record.
“He is someone who has always remained a friend of the club since he left here and it fantastic to have him back on board for next season.
“As well as focusing on our current position, there is a great deal of work going on behind the scenes to make sure we build for the future and the signing of Dave Furner is a massive indication of that vision.”
Furner will work under his former team-mate Sinfield, who will remain as director of rugby, and will be assisted by current first team coach Jimmy Lowes.