BRIAN McDermott believes he and Jimmy Lowes are two of a kind as the rival coaches prepare to cross swords at Headingley.

Not only did they both enjoy legendary status as team-mates at Bradford, they have taken their uncompromising approach into coaching.

The pair are close friends and Lowes joined the Rhinos as McDermott's assistant in November 2010 before taking charge at Leeds Carnegie in June last year.

Leeds boss McDermott said: "Jimmy and I came through the same school and we have a very similar philosophy about how the game should be played and how we should defend as well.

"Rarely did I sit down with Jimmy and pontificate with him for three hours about what we should or shouldn't do. It was more like a well-oiled machine and was probably like that from the very first week.

"It was a very good fit. Jimmy is a smart fella who knows his onions about how to attack and how to defend.

"Rarely did I think 'you've got that wrong, Jimmy' and rarely did I have to say that to him.

"Rarely did he say to me 'Mac, I think this needs changing' or 'I think that needs changing'.

"There weren't many occasions we had to do that – but at the same time, we kept our relationship very honest as well.

"If something wasn't quite right, we'd say it to each other. I really enjoyed working with him.

"It's tough working with your mates. He is my mate and he has been for years."

McDermott said Lowes had helped him through some dark times during a difficult first year in charge at Headingley in 2011, which ended with Leeds beating St Helens in the Grand Final.

The former Royal Marine and professional boxer explained: "The strength of our relationship, without getting all mushy, is stronger now than it was before because we have worked together in very intense moments.

"We have both been under pressure when we were in the job together.

"One thing I have to say about Jimmy is that he is an unbelievably loyal man. No matter how bad it got in 2011 and how many questions were being asked, he always had my back covered.

"That is brilliant. As a head coach you want to know not only does your assistant believe in the things you believe in, but they have also got to have that loyalty aspect. I never, for one second, doubted any of that."

McDermott is convinced Lowes will bring the good times back to Odsal as the Bulls gear up for life in the Championship.

"It is just a shame the influence he is clearly having has come a week or two too late," said the Rhinos chief.

"He was given an almost impossible task to start with, keeping them up, but he has obviously done something special there so they are in a place where they can beat a very good team like Wigan.

"Jimmy is going to be responsible for building them back up now and for a coach it could be an exciting challenge. It is almost a dismantled club, or has been a dismantled club.

"With new owner Marc Green, they are going to build up and Jimmy has got the opportunity to build a football department and put his own influences and philosophies into it.

"In that respect it is pretty exciting and an exciting challenge to have.

"We all know if and when Bradford do start to get back in the top-flight or start to become a good club again, that base is there.

"People will come. The brand of Bradford Bulls, while it is probably diluted at the moment, is still a very strong brand and can be a very strong brand.

"Add a few wins, get them back in Super League, challenge for honours, and I don't think they will have a problem getting the crowds back."