Brian McDermott has confirmed he will continue as the USA Hawks head-coach for the Rugby League World Cup 2017 in Australia, New Zealand and PNG.
McDermott 46, a former professional rugby league player and recipient of last year’s UK Sports Coach of the Year Award is considered one of the best rugby league coaches in the world.
“I’m very pleased to have been invited to continue my role with the USARL taking the Hawks to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup”, McDermott said. “What’s already been achieved is the result of a lot of hard work and commitment with much more preparation required for the World Cup. I am personally looking forward to working alongside a dedicated group of people that have demonstrated the desire to succeed and are willing to make the necessary changes in order to adapt.”
In 2015 McDermott coached Leeds Rhinos to a historic treble; winning the Challenge Cup 50-0, scoring a last second try against Huddersfield Giants to win the League Leaders Shield and beating Wigan Warriors in a major final for the first time, 22-20 for the First Utility Super League premiership. McDermott won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award at the end of the season. During 2015 McDermott volunteered his time as head-coach of the USARL’s national team, the Hawks. In his first outing at the 2015 Rugby League World Cup – Americas Qualifiers, he guided the USA to victories over Jamaica and Canada, subsequently qualifying the USA for Rugby League World Cup 2017.
“Rugby League around the world needs brave people and those who are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make their mark. This philosophy instilled with the USARL is as much an attraction as it is working with the players again that enabled the team to initially qualify.”McDermott will continue in his role as head-coach of Leeds Rhinos in the First Utility Super League for 2016.
USARL Chairman, Peter Illfield said, “Brian’s involvement with the Hawks at last years World Cup Qualifiers in Florida has had a profound impact on our players wanting to improve their rugby league skills at both home and abroad. We’re thrilled that Brian values the type of culture and organization that we’re building in the USA. The game of Rugby League in the USA will only get better from here.”
Assistant Coach, Sean Rutgerson, has also committed to the Hawks for Rugby League World Cup 2017.
Rutgerson, a former Australian NRL player, strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer, has played for the North Sydney Bears and Canberra Raiders in Australian NRL, Salford City Reds in the European Super League and Jacksonville Axemen in the USA. He represented South Africa in Rugby League World Cup 2000.