Leeds ring changes in backroom staff for 2019

Leeds will have a new look backroom team for the 2019 season following a review of the club’s rugby department.

Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield has devised the blueprint for the new look set up that will include the arrival of Dave Furner as the club’s new head coach, with Jimmy Lowes and Chev Walker as his assistants.

Head of physiotherapy Andy Barker has left the club and Leeds have welcomed Alex Morrell from Yorkshire Carnegie.

Chris Black will re-join the Rhinos from the Rugby Football League as the club’s new head of physical performance. He is currently working with England.

Leeds will be headed up by a new head of player and coach development, who will be appointed in due course. There will be a junior player pathway department that focuses on developing and attracting new talent to the sport.

Rob Burrow will continue in his role of Under-19s head coach in 2019.

The Rhinos’ rugby department will now incorporate the women’s side, which was originally operated by the club’s foundation. Leon Crick will become a full-time manager for the women’s team for 2019.

On the changes, Sinfield said: “These new appointments represent the start of a new era and direction at Leeds Rhinos and we are delighted to secure three crucial positions for 2019 in a new head coach, head physio and head of physical performance for the first-team.

“Leeds Rhinos is a huge organisation, and the first-team squad and their performances are firmly at the top of that pyramid.

“When I returned to the club, we spoke about reviewing our entire operation at the end of the season and that is something that has taken time and a great deal of consideration to make sure we have the right structure in place to take the club forward and make us stronger.

“For many years, we had one of the leanest backroom teams in the game but there comes a time when we need to expand to remain competitive in the ever-changing modern game. I would like to thank the board of directors for taking on board my recommendations and I am sure this structure will give us the competitive edge we need to challenge for honours again.”