Rohan Smith arrives at Leeds Rhinos: New boss pleased with 'positive' signs

Newly-arrived coach Rohan Smith says he is encouraged by what he has seen from Leeds Rhinos in their last two matches.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 2:23 pm

The 40-year-old Australian touched down in Leeds today (Tuesday) to begin a three and a half year contract.

He will meet with Rhinos’ backroom staff tomorrow before getting together with the squad for the first time on Thursday, when they return from a five-day break.

That will give Smith 10 days to get to know the players before his first match in charge, away to Salford Red Devils on Sunday, May 15.

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Rohan Smith had his first lokk around Headingley as Rhinos coach on Tuesday. Picture by Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/SWpix.com.

Rhinos are ninth in the 12-team Betfred Super League, but have won their last two matches, against Toulouse Olympique and Hull KR, who are coached by Rohan’s uncle Tony Smith.

Smith, whose appointment was announced two weeks ago, has seen most of Rhinos' games this year and is confident they have made progress under interim-coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

“I think there’s been real positive energy and application as a team,” he said of recent performances.

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Rohan Smith in the players' tunnel at Headingley. Picture by Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos via SWpix.com.

“They look like they are out there enjoying the battle together and it was great to see everyone get rewarded for their hard work over the last little period.”

Rhinos are now five points clear of bottom club Toulouse and some of the pressure has been lifted in the battle against relegation.

Smith insisted it is “way too early” to outline aims for the rest of this year, but stressed: “Having our best crack of winning every week will be the intention.”

And he pledged: “I want us to play a brand of rugby that makes people proud to come and watch.”