AFTER winning everything possible in charge of Leeds Rhinos, Brian McDermott has confirmed he would be willing to take on an even bigger challenge, as coach of England.
McDermott joined Leeds ahead of the 2011 season and has guided them to four Super League titles, the Challenge Cup twice and a league leaders’ shield and World Club Challenge.
If you are asking could you be a full-time Super League coach and an international coach part-time, of course you can, yes.Leeds Rhinos’ coach Brian McDermott
This track record has made him the most successful coach in Leeds’s history and the Wakefield-born 47-year-old will be a leading contender if Wayne Bennett decides not to continue in his England role.
Daryl Powell, of 2017 table-toppers Castleford Tigers, has also declared an interest.
Both men would be keen to remain in their full-time club position and take charge of England on a part-time basis as Bennett – also the Brisbane Broncos coach – does now.
McDermott, who guided Leeds to Grand Final glory against Castleford two months ago, said he would consider coaching England if approached, but would have to be asked.
“I am cool, I am at ease with coaching Leeds,” McDermott said.
“I love coaching Leeds and at no stage would I ever chase that [England] job.
“I don’t think it’s a job you chase and I wouldn’t want the job at any expense, either.
“If I was to do the job I’d want to do it my way, which won’t be too radical, but I am just trying to make a point that I am not going to get veered off the track to go chase the England job.
“If it becomes available and I get a phone call I’m certainly up for that.”
McDermott was in charge of the United States during the recent World Cup and that experience has convinced him he can combine club coaching with a national team role.
“The international coaching bit, I liked,” said the Leeds boss, who added he has not ruled out staying with the Hawks for the next World Cup in four years.
“It is a different version of coaching. I think some of the choices you’ve got to make as an international coach are about what you can do with the players over a short space of time.
“There were some challenges to it, but if you are asking could you be a full-time Super League coach and an international coach part-time, of course you can, yes.”
Bennett is expected to make a decision on his England future in the new year.
He succeeded Steve McNamara in 2016 and led England to their first World Cup final in 22 years.