Rugby League: Murray wants trophies as well as attacking flair

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The Independent Online
Graham Murray has pledged to continue the Leeds tradition of attacking, entertaining rugby - with the important difference that he intends to win a trophy or two as well.

Leeds' new Australian coach met the players for the first time yesterday and is preparing them for Paul Broadbent's testimonial match against Sheffield Eagles on Sunday.

"There's a good foundation here, but it's a bit more of an attractive style of football that I'd like to play," Murray said. "There's a balance to be struck. Winning is the bottom line but we are in the entertainment business and we've got to give people a match worth watching."

The Leeds chief executive, Gary Hetherington, said it was Murray's commitment to attractive, winning rugby over the past 10 years that had convinced the club that he was the right man to replace Dean Bell, who has taken on a youth development role.

Murray was well regarded for his work as coach at Illawarra. He then coached Fiji in the 1995 World Cup and performed wonders with Hunter Mariners, taking them to the final of the World Club Championship in their only season.

It was the drawn-out death of the Mariners that freed Murray to take over at Headingley. "I'm very appreciative of the way the club waited for everything to be sorted out," he said as he took over a job he was offered last November.

Murray has watched tapes of Leeds in action, singling out Iestyn Harris, Richie Blackmore and Adrian Morley as players he looks forward to working with. He is likely to return to Australia to fill his one remaining place on the overseas quota, with one of his players from the Mariners, Brad Godden, the leading candidate.

Paul Rowley, the Halifax hooker, has signed a new three-year contract with the Super League club.