McClennan adds year to Rhinos' charge

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The Independent Online

Brian McClennan is still being linked with a return home to coach the New Zealand Warriors, despite signing on for a fourth season at Leeds. McClennan has led the Rhinos to back-to-back Super League titles and has now agreed to stay for the 2011 season. "Our intention was always to have Brian here for a fourth season and possibly beyond that," said the Leeds chief executive, Gary Hetherington.

McClennan was non-committal about his longer-term plans and whether a return to his hometown of Auckland and the NRL could be part of them. The Warriors' coach, Ivan Cleary, is out of contract at the end of next season.

McClennan's emphasis was on his contentment at Headingley, especially now that the Rhinos have started to climb the Super League table. "We have faced some adversity this season, but have risen to the challenge each time," he said. "I'm very proud to be the head coach."

Hull have signed Laurence Pearce, a rugby union product from Nottingham's academy system who caught their eye while on loan to Hull RU.

Cameron Smith is out of today's first State of Origin match, as Australia braces itself for a resumption of hostilities between Queensland and New South Wales.

Their last meeting was one of the most violent in Origin history. "They were very physical and we didn't handle that very well," said Queensland coach Mal Meninga.