SUPER League Grand Final-winning coach Brian McClennan is returning to the UK to coach the Exiles in the 2013 International Origin Game against England.
The New Zealander led the Exiles – a team comprising the cream of overseas talent drawn from Super League – to victory in the inaugural Origin fixture in 2011 and jumped at the chance to pit his wits against England at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, on Friday June 14.
McClennan, who coached Leeds Rhinos to Super League Grand Final success in 2008 and 2009, said he was delighted to be re-joining the Exiles.
“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. “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.”
McClennan coached New Zealand Warriors in the NRL last year, when the Exiles drew a two-match series against England with Daniel Anderson as their coach.
“I saw the games last year and they were terrific spectacles,” added McClennan. “One match is just about right and I think we’ll see even more intense competition this time. 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.
“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.”
McClennan will begin putting together his backroom staff over the next few weeks with a series of announcements scheduled between now and the International Origin Game on Friday June 14 (8pm).
Tickets for the 2013 International Origin Game, England v Exiles at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington, are now on sale from £20 adults, £15 concession, £10 children. To purchase tickets please call the RFL Ticket office on 0844 856 1113 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk