Leeds coach Brian McDermott wants more British coaches

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport

Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott has called for British rugby league coaches to be given a fair chance when Super League vacancies arise.

McDermott became the first home coach to lift the Super League trophy since 2005 when he guided the Rhinos to victory in October's final.

"I'm proud to be a British coach and in our sport they often get a rough run," he told BBC Sport.

"It rankles that there are some good coaches who are not getting a look-in."

McDermott, speaking at a special rugby league event as part of the BBC's Celebrate Sport festival, along with St Helens and England star Jon Wilkin and BBC Sport pundit Robbie Hunter-Paul, added: "It would be nice if some club owners at least interviewed and found out about the next crop of British coaches.

"There has to come a point where if you are going to keep growing your juniors and promoting from within, then British coaches have to be a part of that too.

"I know some clubs haven't interviewed any British candidates before appointing an overseas coach.

"I haven't got a problem with overseas coaches getting a job if they are the best man for the job but if a British coach winning the Super League title has made some people sit up and take a look, that's a good thing."

Last season, the Rhinos finished fifth at the end of the regular season and reached the Challenge Cup final where they lost to Wigan, but they found their form in the play-offs with Rob Burrow inspiring them to victory over St Helens to give them their fifth Grand Final triumph.

The win saw McDermott, who took over at Headingley from New Zealander Brian McClennan at the start of the 2011 season, become the first English coach to win the trophy since Brian Noble guided Bradford to success in 2005.

And the ex-Royal Marine is also hopeful that the Rhinos can bring their end-of-season form into the start of the 2012 campaign and enjoy more success.

"For a good bit of last season we weren't at our best and we want to be better than we were," he said.

"Last season was tough and challenging but I enjoyed the journey and it is going to be interesting to see where we go from here and how we can back it up."

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