Rugby League - McClennan to resume Exiles role

Former Leeds and New Zealand coach Brian McClennan will be back in charge of the Exiles for this year's clash with England.

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McClennan, who took the Rhinos to Super League Grand Final success in 2008 and 2009, will return to the UK in time for the International Origin game at Warrington on Friday, June 14.

"The Origin game is a fantastic concept and, with the Rugby League World Cup on the horizon, this year's match is going to have more riding on it than ever before," said McClennan.

The former Kiwis boss guided the Super League-based overseas side to victory in the inaugural International Origin match in 2011 but was forced to relinquish the role after being appointed as New Zealand Warriors head coach.

Ex-St Helens boss Daniel Anderson took charge of the two-game series in 2012 but was recently appointed to head up the referees in Australia's National Rugby League. That has paved the way for a return for McClennan, who lost his job with the Warriors last season.

He added: "It's a hugely-important fixture for England as they look towards the World Cup and for all the Kiwi and Aussie boys in Super League it has special meaning. Many of them know that they aren't going to be considered for rep footy when they sign for a Super League club and the Exiles gives them that chance.

"I had a great time two years ago. It was a lot of fun for everyone involved with the Exiles and I'm looking forward to replicating the spirit we had in camp in 2011. I saw the games last year and they were terrific spectacles. One match is just about right and I think we'll see even more intense competition this time."

McClennan, who was assisted by then Castleford head coach Terry Matterson in 2011, will now begin putting together his backroom staff but says he has maintained close contact with the English game.

"We get all the televised Super League games on TV down here in New Zealand and I have been impressed by what I've seen," he said. "England have more depth now than they've ever had and that can only be a good thing for Steve McNamara.

"There are also a lot of very talented overseas players in the competition and I know the chance to play for the Exiles will see them up their game."

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