John Bastian, who has built a solid reputation as an expert in young player development, will be stepping down as Youth Manager at Hull KR to join Leeds in the new role of Player Course Development Manager.
It’s a blow to the Rhinos, where he worked on the club’s scholarship program and rose through the ranks to become head of youth development, before leaving in 2008.
Bastian, who was Featherstone’s head coach between 2013 and 2014, succeeding Daryl Powell, also oversaw development systems at Warrington and Bradford.
He joined Hull KR in 2019 to lead the new youth organization following the disbandment of the City of Hull Academy, a joint venture between Rovers and Hull.
This recreated his partnership with head coach Tony Smith, the couple having worked together in Leeds and Warrington.
Former Featherstone player Bastian, who will join Leeds on 1 October, said: “I am delighted to join Leeds.
“My (previous) stint at the club played a big role in my development as a coach.
“The club has progressed since then and I come back to a really exciting time.
“The role will be to work with junior players aged 13 to 20, build strong connections with community play and work alongside our coaches and with (youth leader) Simon Bell and (force leader and of Academy Conditioning) Ben Jones.
“Leeds have always produced really talented young players and that has been a big part of what has been achieved at the club. Youth development is a key part of (head coach) Richard Agar’s plans.
“We will look to add quality to the existing system and help it grow and improve a bit in the years to come.”
Jason Netherton, Bastian’s assistant at Rovers, will become responsible for player development.
Ben Lazenby, who worked at Warrington and Yorkshire Rugby Club Carnegie, will assist Netherton as the Academy’s chief executive.
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