Brian McDermott departs Featherstone Rovers

Brian McDermott has resigned as Featherstone Rovers coach in the wake of the 32-28 Championship play-off semi-final defeat by Batley Bulldogs which ended hopes of promotion to Super League.

The 52-year-old, who had a highly-successful stint in charge of Leeds Rhinos and guided Toronto Wolfpack into Super League – at Featherstone’s expense – in 2019, was appointed in succession to James Webster after Rovers lost to Toulouse Olympique in last year’s Million Pound Game.

Featherstone invested boldly in their bid to make the top flight, signing the likes of Samoa and ex-NRL centre Joey Leilua and Toulouse duo Mark Kheirallah, the France fullback, and Johnathon Ford, the Cook Islands halfback.

But they missed out on a Championship Grand Final promotion decider against Leigh as they went down at home to Batley.

“I came to the club with a clear objective to achieve promotion to Super League, an objective which unfortunately has not been achieved,” said McDermott.

“I feel my departure will give the club the opportunity to take a new direction and hopefully they will be able to build upon the progress made this year.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time coaching this group of players this season, they have always given me great support and I will watch with interest the progress I’m sure they will make in 2023.

“I have respected greatly the club in my time here. It is a club steeped in tradition and has excellent facilities, with a strong supporter base. I look forward to seeing that development continue in the future.”

Featherstone chairman Mark Campbell said: “Brian has worked tremendously hard this year to achieve our promotion goal and we respect his decision.

“I would like to place on record my thanks for his efforts and wish him all the best moving forward.”