12 February 2020

Leeds Rhinos founding head coach Adam Cuthbertson steps down from role calling the decision 'a real shame'

Leeds Rhinos' founding head coach Alex Cuthbertson has stepped down from his role.

He will continue his work as an assistant coach for England but will be leaving the Rhinos, something he describes as a 'real shame'.

“It was a tough decision to make, but there are some other things I need to focus on which mean I won’t have the time to do both.”

Rhinos assistant coach Lois Forsell will now be head coach for the defending WSL champions.

Cuthbertson became the first head coach of Rhinos when the side was formed in 2017 and he led them to a Challenge Cup title and to the WSL final in their first season.

Last season, the team won the domestic double as they picked up the Challenge Cup and WSL titles.

“I am doing my degree, I am at the University of Salford doing my masters in sports directorship. I am coming up to about halfway through and it is taking up a lot of time.

“I was hoping to be able to juggle them because of how much I enjoy coaching the women’s team and helping the game grow.

“To a degree I will still be a part of it through a coaching role with England, but I would not be able to give the commitment the role needs.”

Cuthbertson has called Courtney Hill a role model (PA Images)

Cuthbertson has credited the side and in particular Rhinos captain Courtney Hill and former Rhino Charlotte Booth as role models for the next generation of rugby league players.

"The girls are outstanding, I could not have asked for a better group.

“They are all completely committed to the cause and they are doing their bit to put the game of women’s rugby league on the map,

“It has been a brilliant two years coaching these girls and seeing them not just win a few trophies, but grow off the field in terms of their presence around Leeds.

“They have become role models for the next generation of girls who want to play the game, we have Courtney [Hill] and Char [Booth] representing the game over in Australia and on top of that we have all those who have gained international honours during the two years.

“That’s exciting for Leeds, but also for the game going forward.”

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