Castleford boss Powell rules out Leeds return

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CASTLEFORD TIGERS coach Daryl Powell has ruled himself out of contention for the vacancy at Leeds Rhinos.

The former Leeds player and coach is among the bookies’ favourites to replace Brian McDermott, who was sacked this week, but Powell, who has transformed Castleford’s fortunes since taking charge in 2013, insisted: “I have got a contract here until 2020.

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell (Picture: PA)

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell (Picture: PA)

“I am pretty happy and I have no intention of going anywhere else.”

Powell added: “I haven’t spoken to anybody about the Leeds job, I am just focused on what I am doing here which is really important. We are trying to achieve something special and hopefully [I can] take this club into the new stadium and all the special times this will bring.”

The 52-year-old has also been linked with taking over from departing Wigan coach Shaun Wane, but does not regard either role as a step up.

“I don’t understand why people don’t see this as a worthy job,” he stressed.

“This is a club that’s steeped in rugby league. It is a special place to coach.

“If I could say the one thing I’d want to have in my coaching career it would be to do something special with Castleford Tigers, the club I supported as a kid.

“There couldn’t be a bigger job. The England job is a massive job, but this is a big job. I think one of the reasons we’ve had such a special rivalry with Wigan is because they know we’re going to come and challenge them. That’s what we stand for.

“I see this as an outstanding rugby league job.”

McDermott won four Grand Finals, including against Tigers last year, as well as the Challenge Cup twice, league leaders’ shield and World Club Challenge during his eight seasons as Leeds coach.

Rhinos will be without a coach when they visit Castleford in two days’ time and Powell said: “I was surprised because they’ve been here before and generally got out of it and done well.

“There’s always something within a club that nobody knows about but the inner sanctum so who knows, but my first thought was for Brian.

“You don’t want someone to lose a job. It’s a tough job anyway, I know that from personal experience and it will have hurt him massively.

“I just hope he’s all right and he can focus on what he’s going to do next.”

Leeds will hold a press conference this morning to make a “significant announcement regarding the long term replacement for Brian McDermott.”