Great britain legend Adrian Morley has made a surprise return to Leeds Rhinos.
The 39-year-old, who made 149 appearances for Leeds Rhinos by the age of 23, has joined the club’s backroom team, taking up the post of academy head coach from tomorrow.
The position has been created after the club’s internal end-of-season review and is designed at further strengthening the club’s revered academy.
Morley, 39, will also form part of the senior coaching team at Rhinos as well as taking on an ambassadorial position on match-days at Headingley.
Morley left Leeds in 2000 and went on to play for Sydney Roosters, Bradford Bulls, Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils until the end of 2015, when he returned to Leeds for a one-off game with New Zealand.
He won the Challenge Cup with Leeds and his international career spanned 16 years and 53 caps.
“It is funny how these things work out,” said Morley, who was a product of the Leeds academy two decades ago.
“Leeds Rhinos was the first club I played for and the last, and I have very fond memories of the club and the city. It is great to be a Rhino again. Speaking to Brian McDermott and the other staff at the club, I can see that this is a coaching role I can get my teeth in to.
“It will be great to be in and around the players again on a daily basis. You really miss that when you retire and, hopefully, this will fill that void and I can pass on some of my experience.”
Morley’s appointment allows Chris Plume to work exclusively with the first-team squad.
McDermott said: “To have secured Adrian is a massive boost to our youth development programme. I will definitely welcome his input on the first-team squad given his standing in the game and his record of achievement throughout his career. This is a great opportunity for him to cut his teeth in coaching.”