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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Tuesday, 26 October 2010 12:30 UK

Harris hails McDermott's appointment at Leeds Rhinos

Brian McDermott
McDermott joined Quins in 2006

Former Leeds Rhinos captain Iestyn Harris says the club have taken a very important step in appointing a British head coach in Brian McDermott.

The former Harlequins boss has taken over from Brian McClennan, who has decided to return home to New Zealand.

Harris told BBC Radio Leeds: "I think it is a brilliant move from the club.

"There has been an influx of overseas coaches for a while now and to buck that tread at a top-four club is really, really pleasing to see."

McDermott is one of only four British-born coaches in charge at a Super League club.

He's more than capable of dealing with this job and will be determined to progress the club further and further

Iestyn Harris on Brain McDermott

Harris added: "We have got good young British coaches around the game and it's about time one got appointed to one of the really big jobs.

"I'm really pleased for Brian and am really happy Leeds Rhinos have made the decision to appoint him."

McDermott left his position as assistant to Tony Smith at Headingley in 2006 to become the boss at Harlequins, but had decided to return to West Yorkshire as McClennan's number two for Super League XVI.

"I was shocked to see Brian McClennan leave, but he can be very pleased and proud for what he has achieved with Leeds.

"They have been the best team in Super League over the last few years and he should be proud of that.

"Brian McDermott has done a brilliant job at Harlequins over the last few years and it's just reward for him to get a job at a big club.

"It will help Brian that he's worked at Leeds before and that he's been in very good systems in the past.

"The fact he has had his own in Harlequins, and had to deal with certain issues you have to when your a head coach, will stand him in good stead.

"He's probably got this job a bit earlier that he expected, but he's more than capable of dealing with this job and will be determined to progress the club further and further."

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