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Hawks Announce New USA Coach, Brian McDermott
7th July 2015, Tuesday

The USARL are pleased to announce the appointment of Brian McDermott from Leeds Rhinos as the Hawks head-coach to guide the USA to the Rugby League World Cup 2017 in Australia and New Zealand.

"I am honored to be appointed Head Coach of the USA Hawks. We saw in 2013, the impact the USA team can have on the international Rugby League game and that is something that excites me as a passionate Rugby League fan and coach", said Brian McDermott. "The main task is to qualify for the 2017 World Cup. But along that journey I hope to have an influence over the development of players coming through and have an input into the broader coaching network in the USA. Having had first hand experience of working with the players in the States, I have been impressed with their attitude, athleticism and commitment to Rugby League and that gives us strong foundations to build on. I am looking forward to working with Spinner Howland, Peter Illfield and Sean Rutgerson and for my own personal development; I am looking forward to the challenge of working with a new group of players during the Rhinos off season."

Brian is an English professional rugby league football coach and former player. He is head coach of the Leeds Rhinos club of Super League in the UK. He was also a Great Britain international representative forward. He coached Leeds to the 2011 Challenge Cup final and guided Leeds to Super League glory from 5th place. He replicated the same feat in 2012, winning the World Club Challenge and reaching the 2012 Challenge Cup Final along with the 2012 Super League Grand Final which Leeds won for the 7th time in nine years making it two out of two for McDermott in his first two years as head coach.

USARL Chairman, Peter Illfield, said, "Brian has a ready-made relationship with the USA bringing his Leeds Rhinos to coaching camps and matches in Jacksonville, Florida, the most recent in January this year. His record speaks for itself with his experience and professionalism providing our American players with valued knowledge of the game".

Brian’s assistant will be Australian and NRL West Tigers strength and conditioning coach, Sean Rutgerson. Illfield went on to say, "Sean too has a relationship with us when he played with and coached the Jacksonville Axemen in 2009. He comes recommended by Daryl "Spinner" Howland, owner of the Axemen, and so we also welcome Sean and his expertise to the Hawks coaching staff as well".

Sean expressed his desire to return to the USA, "I'm really excited to be part of the Hawks and the new set-up going on with Rugby League in the USA. I am stoked to be selected as assistant coach and strength and conditioning coach. My season with the Axemen in 2009 gave me great insight into the level of athlete produced in the states, and I know the potential Rugby League has as it grows in popularity. I can't wait to get back over there and start training."

Sean has played NRL in Australia, Super League in the UK and represented South Africa in the Rugby League World Cup 2000. He's a qualified and experienced strength and conditioning coach and NRL accredited coach. He also owns a personal training business in Sydney, Australia."

"Along with our local expertise, the Hawks coaching and management staff will be the best we could possibly assemble for our critical march to Rugby League World Cup 2017", said Illfield.