Hetherington promises ‘key announcements’ at Leeds to ensure they compete in 2019

Leeds chief executive has told the club’s members there will be a number of ‘key announcements’ throughout the upcoming off-season which will enable the Rhinos to compete for honours again in 2019.

2018 has been a season of disaster for the reigning Super League champions, having ended the regular season in the bottom-four and only avoiding the Million Pound Game by points difference in the Qualifiers.

However, with new coach David Furner already confirmed to join director of rugby Kevin Sinfield in revamping the Rhinos’ fortunes, Hetherington has insisted that is only the start.

In an email sent to Rhinos members, Hetherington said: “The club are fully behind Kevin, who has been totally absorbed with first-team preparation since his arrival in July. This has given him a bird’s eye view of our rugby operation and enabled him to form a view on what needs to change, particularly with regards to player retention and recruitment.

“So, expect some key announcements throughout the off-season and I have no doubt we will start 2019 in the best possible shape and with a determination to challenge once again for major honours.”

Hetherington also hinted at Furner having the ability to oversee a number of new recruits joining Leeds ahead of the new season.

“The appointment of David Furner is a significant one,” he said. “Since retiring from a stellar playing career, he was head coach of the Canberra Raiders for five-years and recently worked as the offensive coach for both North Queensland Cowboys and South Sydney and as assistant to the Kangaroos.

“He is excited with the challenge and is already at the heart of things, liaising closely with Kevin, particularly on player recruitment. In recent years, we have always retained our best players and promoted the best from our Academy, so we’ve not had much space for new recruits, but in the light of this season, it is evident the current squad is in need of change and the process is underway.”