Leeds Rhinos react to reports coach Dave Furner is staying in Aus'

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington has this morning dismissed a report suggesting incoming coach Dave Furner is set to back out of his move to Emerald Headingley.

Leeds Rhinos departing Aussie Dave Furner holds the Super League Leaders Sheild in Millennium Square to celebrate winning Super League Grand Final. 17 Oct 2004

A report in the Australian media overnight claimed Furner is “set to coach South Sydney in 2019 and turn his back on a lucrative contract with English club Leeds”.

It claimed Souths are “certain” to part company with current boss Anthony Seibold who is expected to reject an opportunity to extend his contract beyond the end of next year.

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And it alleged Souths will then turn to Furner, who was assistant-coach there before agreeing to join Leeds, as their new team boss.

The report said Furner has a get-out clause in his Leeds contract, however, Hetherington dismissed the claims as “speculation and rumour” and said he is confident the new boss will arrive in Leeds next month as planned.

He said: “Dave Furner will have been aware of how well thought of he was at Souths for the first team job and that’s one of the things he would have had to weigh up at the time [he agreed to join Leeds].

“It has been speculated a long time that the Souths job could become available because of possible other movements. Dave Furner made his decision to come to Leeds and once he made that decision he will stick by it.”

Rhinos are expected to issue a formal statement, including comments from Furner, later today.