Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain legend Adrian Morley says that the sacking of Rhinos’ Head Coach David Furner does not come as a big surprise, given the side’s poor start to the season

Furner was appointed Rhinos Head Coach for the start of the 2019 campaign, but just 4 wins in 14 games sees the 2017 Betfred Super League Champions just 2 points off the bottom of the table, and Morley is not shocked by the club’s decision to terminate the Australian’s contract.

Furner was the permanent replacement to treble-winning coach Brian McDermott, who was released in 2018 after a poor run of form, and Morley pinpoints an ageing squad as the reason for the recent slump;

“I think they’ve still got a bit of a hangover from three world class, once-in-a-generation players in Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai retiring, Danny Mcguire as well – they’re just finding it really hard to replace those guys.

A lot of the stars that have been performing over the years, Father Time has caught up with them.”

Ahead of their Challenge Cup clash with Bradford Bulls on Saturday, the Rhinos have appointed Assistant Coach Richard Agar as Interim Head Coach, with the identity of the best permanent candidate already causing debate. Morley said;

“I’m not too sure. You’ve got Kevin Sinfield in at the club now whose role is to look after the players and coaches, so Gary (Hetherington) might take a bit of a step back now and say ‘this is your chance’ and he’ll get the person that he wants in. There’s no arguments going forward, but it will be interesting, because the Leeds fans do demand a certain level of success.”

With the Rhinos sitting 8 points shy of the play-off places, whoever steps in will have a mountain to climb if they are to salvage anything from this campaign, but Morley feels that this could prove to be a turning point;

“It’s not great. I’ve had a number of coaches who have been asked to leave whilst I’ve been at clubs and it’s not nice for anyone, but what you will get, whoever comes in, is the element of players who want to impress the new coach, so you will see a bit of a reaction there on the playing side.”

The chance to get back on the bandwagon against Betfred Championship opposition may prove to be a blessing for Leeds this weekend, but whatever decision the club makes, one thing remains clear – big changes will be needed at Headingley, and fast, if 2019 is to be anything other than a failure for the famous blue and amber club.