For a player who has been made an example of by the sport’s disciplinary chiefs on more than one occasion, the news that former BARLA International Barrie McDermott sees himself as a role model will come as a surprise to many people.
The long-time bad boy of rugby league may have mellowed with age but the Leeds Rhinos prop’s run-ins with authority, both on the field and off it, have become the stuff of legend.
He has been sent off nine time, been sin-binned twice more and has the dubious honour of becoming the first person in Britain to be subdued by a police officer using CS gas.
While McDermott’s colourful past is the subject of fortuitously timed autobiography. Made for Rugby (Sidgwick & Jackson, £17.99), the 32-year-old insists his focus is fixed on preparing for events at Old Trafford tomorrow when he makes his grand final bow for Leeds against Bradford Bulls.
“I would have liked to have launched it a few weeks before the grand final and had it out of the way but it’s good to ride that wave”.