Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington says there is “no question” that newly-appointed head coach Dave Furner will take up the role despite reports saying he is about to make a dramatic U-turn.
The South Sydney assistant was appointed as the permanent replacement to Brian McDermott in September and is due to arrive in West Yorkshire next month to take up a three-year contract.
An Australian newspaper, though, claimed Furner is poised to exercise an opt-out clause that would free him up to take over the main job at Souths if, as speculated, Anthony Seibold imminently stands down.
However, Hetherington said: “I know it’s been widely reported that he’s got a get-out clause.
“Well, no, there isn’t one. It’s all pure speculation. David is committed to coming here. There is no question about that.”
Speaking in Australia, Furner said: “Since the appointment I have been looking forward to starting my relationship again with Leeds Rhinos, the staff and the fans. I don’t want to give fuel to any speculation and I just want to say I am booked, I am coming to Leeds on November 5 and I can’t wait to get started.”
Meanwhile, the late Derek ‘Rocky’ Turner, who coached Leeds to the title in 1972 having captained the legendary Wakefield Trinity side of the 1960s, is to be inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame.
He will be joined in the prestigious roll of honour by his former Great Britain team-mate Johnny Whiteley, the legendary Hull loose-forward, as well as Andy Gregory, the brilliant ex-Wigan, Widnes and Lions scrum-half who had a spell with Leeds from 1992-94.
Whiteley and Gregory will attend the Rugby League Hall of Fame and RLIF Golden Boot dinner at Elland Road, Leeds, on Wednesday November 7.
The ‘longlist’ for that Golden Boot as the world’s best player has been named as Australia trio James Tedesco, Boyd Cordner and Valentine Holmes along with Tonga duo Jason Taumalolo and Sio Siua Taukeiaho.
Elsewhere, Huddersfield Giants pair Dale Ferguson – the new Scotland captain – and Aaron Murphy have both earned new two-year contracts while prop Tyler Dickinson, 22, has been released at his own request.
Wakefield have added to their options by signing Pontefract-born goalkicking half-back Ben Reynolds from Leigh Centurions on a deal until the end of 2020.