Furner to be a role model, says JJB

Jamie Jones-Buchanan believes former “role model” David Furner will be a major asset for Leeds next season.

Furner will join the club as their head coach, 15 years on from playing in the club’s 2004 Grand Final winning side.

Jones-Buchanan was still in the early stages of his Leeds career at the time, but his experiences of Furner have left him believing he will be an excellent appointment for the club.

“He’s a really genuine person,” said Jones-Buchanan.

“He’s hardworking and honest. I think it was Brad Dwyer who said that he’s harder than a billy goat’s knee. He’s one of those old-school competitors, a bit like Mark Glanville and Jamie Peacock.

“He’s the sort of guy who understands the wider perspective, the culture of the club, what needs to happen on the pitch as well as off it. Beyond that, he has a great sense of humour and he’s a friend of the club. He’s a great guy to have around.”

The veteran backrower, who played in the club’s victory over Halifax on Sunday, said his leadership and competitiveness shone through during his playing career with Leeds.

“He was a mentor and someone I looked up to and modelled my game on,” he added.

“Dave Furner was a leader. I’d played against him at Wigan before he went to Leeds. As a backrower, he was a guy I had to deal with and I knew how tough he was.

“He’s one of those guys who always has an idea. He’s very smart, I always tell the story of when I was a young competitive kid trying to beat him on the track, he’d always jump the gun just to make sure he was in front. He was always a step ahead of everybody.

“I imagine his coaching style and personality will be like Dean Bell, who understands the game but invests a lot into your attitude and mentality. We’ll need a little bit of that as well, someone who can build those foundations.”

With plenty of change set to take place within the club’s playing personnel, Jones-Buchanan believes attracting someone with an understanding of the club’s culture is important.

“When you go on a journey it’s important you understand the history and heritage.

“The Leeds Rhinos brand is much more than what happens on the pitch on a Friday night and David Furner will buy into that.”