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Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

McDermott given Leeds youth role

Barrie McDermott
McDermott won 17 Great Britain caps

Leeds Rhinos have appointed former prop Barrie McDermott as their new head of youth development.

The 36-year-old, who won 17 caps for Great Britain, will take up the position on New Year's Day.

McDermott joined Leeds in 1995, making 283 appearances for the club before his retirement in 2006.

"I'm excited by the opportunity to perform this role at a club which I believe is the best in the world at developing young talent," he said.

McDermott is one of only 22 players in the history of the West Yorkshire club to have played in and won both a Challenge Cup and Championship final.

McDermott added: "Hopefully, I can continue the great work that John Bastian and his predecessors in this role have done down the years.

"I am looking forward to putting my own ideas into practice also."

Barrie's enthusiasm and passion for the role made him an obvious candidate

Chief executive Gary Hetherington

McDermott, who started out at hometown club Oldham, played 340 professional games in a career which also saw him appear for England, Ireland and Lancashire.

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "I have often said that this role is, in many ways, just as important as the appointment of a new head coach.

"The development and recruitment of young players and their transformation to first team players is crucial to the future success of our club.

"The calibre of applicant for the job was very high but Barrie's enthusiasm and passion for the role made him an obvious candidate.

"He wants to develop young British players, and youngsters who join our club will know that they have the very best attention and interest from Barrie himself in their development."

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