Leeds Rhinos legend joins York City Knights coaching staff

LEEDS RHINOS legend Brett Delaney is York City Knights’ new assistant coach - tasked with bringing his famous defensive fortitude to their ranks.

Leeds Rhinos' Brett Delaney takes on the Melbourne Storm defence in the 2018 World Club Challenge in Australia. (Brendon Ratnayake/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ)

The Australian back-row, 36, won every honour in the game during nine seasons at Emerald Headingley.

His appointment at the Championship club is his first official move into first-team coaching but - since retiring - Delaney has helped both Rhinos’ academy and scholarship squads.

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York head coach James Ford brought him in after Jack Howieson departed to take up a role with Sheffield Hawks RU.

“Brett has played at the highest level and in the conversations that we have had, it’s clear that he will have a massive impact on the defensive side of our preparations,” he said.

“We’ve got some similar philosophies on that and, while I will oversee it, he will lead on the defence side of things.

“That will probably help me focus on other areas of our performance and preparation.”

Delaney, who retired in 2019 shortly after leaving Leeds for Featherstone Rovers and was renowned as one of Super League’s toughest operators, said: “I’m not going to tell a half-back how to throw the ball around in attack.”

York City Knights head coach James Ford, at Wembley this year, with captain Chris Clarkson (middle), who is a former Leeds Rhinos team-mate of new assistant coach Brett Delaney. (Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

“But I made a career out of defence and being a defensive player. “With that comes structure. There’s wrestle and all sorts of things that come with a defensive system.

“I believe I can bring that and help support Fordy to change the mentality.”

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