He has been coach of this side once before during the inaugural season, a game that saw him coach the side to victory – and now, after a few other coaching jobs in between, Brian McClennan will return to the international Origin foray, as the coach of the rugby league Exiles side.
The international Origin game, a clash that has now become a mainstay in the Super League calendar following its 2011 success, sees an Exiles side made up of non-English & foreign players against the very best that England has to offer – a game to be played on June 14 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
McClennan is no stranger to coaching, having guided Leeds Rhinos to back-to-back grand finals in 2008 and 2009, as well as a coaching stint with the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL – what matters now, though, is that he is looking forward to coaching the Exiles side once more.
The Origin game is a fantastic concept and with the Rugby League World Cup on the horizon this yearâ€™s match is going to have more riding on it than ever before,â€ said McClennan.
â€œItâ€™s a hugely important fixture for England as they look towards the World Cup and for all the Kiwi and Aussie boys in Super League it has special meaning.
â€œMany of them know that they arenâ€™t going to be considered for rep footy when they sign for a Super League club and the Exiles gives them that chance.
â€œI had a great time two years ago, it was a lot of fun for everyone involved with the Exiles and Iâ€™m looking forward to replicating the spirit we had in camp in 2011.â€
McClennan managed to catch the two games last year and thought that they were both a great success under the now current referees boss in Daniel Anderson.
â€œI saw the games last year and they were terrific spectacles,â€ added McClennan.
â€œOne match is just about right and I think weâ€™ll see even more intense competition this time.
â€œWe get all the televised Super League games on TV down here in New Zealand and I have been impressed by what Iâ€™ve seen.
â€œEngland have more depth now than theyâ€™ve ever had and that can only be a good thing for Steve McNamara: there are also a lot of very talented overseas players in the competition and I know the chance to play for the Exiles will see them up their game.â€