Leeds Rhinos confirm Rohan Smith as new head coach

Leeds Rhinos confirm Rohan Smith as new head coach Leeds Rhinos have appointed Rohan Smith to a three-and-a-half-year contract as their new head coach. Smith replaces Richard Agar, who stepped […]

Leeds Rhinos confirm Rohan Smith as new head coach

Leeds Rhinos have appointed Rohan Smith to a three-and-a-half-year contract as their new head coach.

Smith replaces Richard Agar, who stepped down from the position in late March after signing a contract that will run until the end of the 2025 season.

The 40-year-old is the nephew of former Leeds head coach Tony Smith, who announced on Wednesday that he will quit Hull KR at the end of the season.

This season, Leeds have only three points from their opening nine Super League games, putting them one point ahead of Toulouse, who visit Headingley on Friday.

“I am excited about the opportunity and really looking forward to getting back to the UK.” Said Smith.

“The opportunity to be a head coach in Super League is something I have always aspired to do, especially with a club with such a rich history in the game and a proud tradition of developing talent through their academy.”

Things must change at Leeds

Vwin’s news stated that the new head coach Rohan Smith should restore the club’s culture if the Leeds Rhinos want to reclaim their past glory.

The appointment looks to be another gamble. Rohan Smith has worked in the NRL before, first as an assistant to his father at Newcastle and subsequently at the New Zealand Warriors. He has worked in London and as the head coach of Bradford in the United Kingdom. He has never coached in the Super League before, and he takes over immediately at a team that is in serious difficulty and displaying a worrying lack of direction.

Leeds United are now in second place in Super League, a far cry from the legendary squad that has won eight Grand Finals since their elusive first in 2004.

A number of former players spoke after Richard Agar’s departure, a resignation that forced chief executive Gary Hetherington to declare there was no quick succession plan due to Agar’s unexpected early-season departure. With no real depth of prospects on British shores – former Leeds prop and London head coach Danny Ward was the top option in a small pool – Hetherington drew together a shortlist of overseas applicants before flying to Australia to interview them. Smith wowed the judges and was offered the position.

The Rhinos have never recovered following the departure of their all-conquering head coach Brian McDermott, who now leads Featherstone to their first-ever Super League season after four Grand Finals and two Challenge Cup victories at Leeds.

Former player Dave Furner was brought in for a short and ill-fated stint, while club veteran Kevin Sinfield attempted to repair the club’s collapsing core by totally wiping the slate clean before quitting as well. And most recently, head coach Agar quit early this season, dissatisfied by his failure to elicit a reaction from the players he had assembled ahead of a season that promised so much.

Agar says he has been striving to understand how and why things ended up the way they did for him at Headingley.

Smith now has a chance to halt the alarming slide and address some long-standing issues resulting from his departure.

About Editor