Leeds Rhinos have appointed former player Ian Kirke as conditioner for the first team.
The 34 year-old, who spent nine years at Headingley, will work under the club’s Head of Athletic Performance Jason Davidson in a part-time capacity.
Davidson told the club’s website: “I am delighted to have Ian back on board at the club. He will take over from Chris Black, who is now heading up the strength and conditioning work at Yorkshire Carnegie. Ian will be working with the first team with their conditioning and strength programmes as well as analysing the GPS data from training.
“It is always good to bring someone in who not only is well qualified but has also played the game and knows the requirements needed to perform in the game and the day to day demands that are placed on a player’s body.”
Kirke was at the Rhinos between 2006 and 2014 and won five Grand Finals and a Challenege Cup during his 214 appearances for the club.
He joined Wakefield in 2015 but was limited to just four appearances for the Wildcats through injury; and Kirke says he yet to decide on his future as a player: “I will make a decision in the New Year as to whether I will play on next season on a part-time basis but I am really looking forward to the challenge at the Rhinos. Obviously I know the place very well having spent nine years here and I have a lot of respect for what Jason Davidson has done with the squad during that period.
Kirke added: “Strength and conditioning is something that I have always had an interest in having completed my degree before I joined the Rhinos and have acquired several qualifications since then. I have always prided myself on how I took care of myself during my career and hopefully I can transfer some of that to our young players as well. It is great to have all the qualifications but it is not always the easiest thing to apply that in the real world and hopefully I will be able to do that.”