McDermott signs up for three more years with Quins

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Brian McDermott has ended speculation that he might be tempted by one of Super League's vacant jobs by signing on for another three seasons as Harlequins' coach.

The former Bradford and Great Britain prop, who has coached Quins to the fringe of the top six this season, has been linked with positions at Warrington and Huddersfield. He was once an assistant coach at the latter club.

"There has been a massive amount of hard work done [at Quins] over the last few years and I'm really pleased to be seeing the job through," McDermott said yesterday.

The club's chairman, Keith Hogg, welcomed his decision. "His reputation as one of the brightest young coaching talents in British rugby league is well deserved," he said. "He constantly demonstrates fantastic commitment to Harlequins."

Illustrating McDermott's long-term strategy, seven of his squad for today' s visit of Leeds are southerners and products of the club's youth system. They include the highly-rated prop Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who could return after a broken arm.

The third-placed Catalan Dragons are at home to Wigan, for whom the Australian utility back Cameron Phelps is due to make his debut. Wigan's Mark Flanagan, however, has joined his team-mate Thomas Coyle on loan at Halifax for the rest of the season.

Jason Demetriou, who caused Wakefield major concern when he suffered a neck injury early in the season, has recovered so well that he is in line to play against Huddersfield tomorrow. The Wildcats captain's career was feared to be under threat, but surgery has been successful and he has been back in full training.

"His training has gone superbly and unless there is an adverse reaction he will be in the 17," said the Wakefield coach, John Kear, who also has the option of bringing in the Australian hooker Brad Drew after his return from compassionate leave. Wakefield's new signing, Matt Petersen, is due to arrive next week and could make his debut at Hull Kingston Rovers on Saturday.

Hull have Shaun Berrigan and Danny Washbrook fit to face Castleford tomorrow. Warrington's caretaker-coach, James Lowes, has named the same squad that won at Harlequins last weekend for the match against Hull KR.

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