McDermott future “not an issue” for Leeds, says Hetherington

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington has appeared to pour cold water on speculation linking head coach Brian McDermott with a move away from the club.

After a disappointing year on the field for the Rhinos, speculation has been rife over the future of McDermott, with some reports lining him up for a role elsewhere in 2017.

However, Hetherington told TotalRL that the rumours surrounding McDermott were “not an issue” for the defending Super League champions as they prepare for the battle to preserve their Super League status in the weeks ahead.

“I just keep reading what’s in the media, things keep cropping up and people must know something I don’t,” he said. “That is not an issue that we at Leeds Rhinos are contemplating dealing with.”

Hetherington was speaking at the Super 8s launch in Manchester, when the Rhinos discovered their fixtures for this year’s Qualifiers.

That is a far cry from 12 months ago, when the Rhinos were on the way to completing the treble, but Hetherington insists they are fully concentrated on what lies ahead of them – and they are not taking anything for granted despite heading into the Qualifiers in impressive form, with five wins from their last six games.

“We’re not looking at what might have been, we’re looking at what the reality is; we’re in the Qualifiers and we know there are four very good Super League teams in there, and at least one of those four will be in the Million Pound Game,” he said.

“We’re not complacent; everyone wants to beat Leeds whether it’s at their ground or at Headingley, and we know we’re going to be playing against good teams.”