JUST IN: Leeds Rhinos consider more candidates for Rohan Smith replacement

The Rhinos are currently without a head coach following Rohan Smith’s departure.

Leeds Rhinos are entering the next phase of their search for a new head coach as they continue the process of appointing a successor.

After Rohan Smith’s departure last month following a tenure of just over two years at Headingley, the club has received applications from around the world. Sporting Director Ian Blease is using the international break to assess whether additional candidates will be considered in the next stage of recruitment.

Among the prominent candidates identified by Leeds are Paul Rowley, the current head coach of Salford Red Devils, and Brad Arthur, the former boss of Parramatta Eels. Both coaches remain under consideration by the club.

However, Blease has also identified additional candidates who will continue to be evaluated, providing the Rhinos with more choices as they approach a final decision. While the specific coaches under consideration have not been disclosed, Jason Demetriou, the former head coach of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, has expressed interest in the role since Smith’s departure.

Leeds Rhinos are keeping their options open, recognizing that both Arthur and Rowley may not be easily attainable. Arthur, currently without a coaching position, has been linked with other roles in the NRL, and it remains uncertain whether he views the Leeds job as a long-term opportunity.

As for Rowley, he remains under contract at Salford, and the financial terms that the Red Devils might demand to release him are uncertain. Should Salford request what Leeds considers an excessive compensation package for a coach whose contract expires next year, the Rhinos may opt to explore other options.

Regarding timing, it’s almost certain that Leeds will not have a new head coach in place before their upcoming match against the London Broncos this Saturday. While eager to secure their next coach swiftly, Leeds is prepared to exercise patience to ensure they appoint their preferred candidate.

Currently, the Rhinos sit seventh in the Super League standings, trailing the playoffs by two points with twelve rounds remaining in the season.

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