Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith predicts flurry of signings for 2023 Super League campaign

LEEDS RHINOS fans can expect a “little flurry” of signings for next year, coach Rohan Smith says.

By Peter Smith
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 6:55 am
INCOMINGS: Leeds Rhinos' head coach Rohan Smith is in conversations with several players. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com
INCOMINGS: Leeds Rhinos' head coach Rohan Smith is in conversations with several players. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com

Rhinos have yet to officially make any additions for 2023, but Smith confirmed talks are on-going over both recruitment and retention.

Second-rower Alex Mellor, who was in the third and final year of his Rhinos contract, yesterday joined Castleford Tigers with immediate effect, on a deal until the end of 2024.

Asked about his plans to bring in new faces for next term, Smith said: “We are in some conversations with a few players.”

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Leeds Rhinos' Brad Dwyer is one of a number of players in the final year of his deal Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com

The coach insisted: “Retention has been the major focus [and] we have also got a bunch of young players who have progressed this season so their status and position within the group will move forward for next year.

“There won’t be a lot of new people into the building, but there will certainly be a little flurry of signings at some point.”

Players in the final season of their Rhinos deal include Rhyse Martin, Brad Dwyer, Bodene Thompson, Tom Briscoe, Jack Broadbent, Muizz Mustapha and Zak Hardaker.

Broadbent is expected to join Mellor at Castleford next year and Dwyer has been linked with tomorrow’s opponents St Helens.

“There’s some out of contract and some of those are on-going conversations and discussions,” Smith said.

“Some of those have already been tied up elsewhere and are yet to be announced.

“There will be some departures for sure and some incoming.”

Broadbent joined Featherstone Rovers on Monday, on a loan deal lasting until the end of this season and Smith confirmed he is among those moving on.

The 21-year-old England Knights centre scored nine tries in 14 games last year, but has played only five times this season. Smith said Broadbent’s decision to leave was made before he took over as coach.

“Jack is moving on next season,” he stated.

“He was looking for some regular game time and I couldn’t give him that with any confidence in the next month or so.

“There was an opportunity for him to go and play at a strong club [Rovers] so his request was granted there.”

Half-back Aidan Sezer is set to make his first appearance since March when Rhinos visit Saints tomorrow.

Hooker and captain Kruise Leeming will return after missing the defeat at Huddersfield Giants two weeks ago through illness and James Bentley is available to face his former side following suspension.

Teenager Max Simpson has been drafted into Rhinos’ initial 21-man squad in place of Broadbent.

Morgan Gannon has recovered from concussion, but has been focusing on his ‘A’ Level exams – which finished yesterday – and will not feature this week.