Leeds appoint Rohan Smith as new head coach

·3-min read

Leeds have announced the appointment of Rohan Smith as the club’s new head coach with immediate effect.

The 40-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract that will keep him at Headingley until the end of the 2025 Super League season.

Smith, who joins the Rhinos from Australian side Norths Devils, is the son of former Hull and Bradford coach Brian Smith and the nephew of former Leeds head coach Tony Smith.

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“I am excited about the opportunity and really looking forward to getting back to the UK,” said Smith, who had a short spell as head coach of the Bradford Bulls in the 2016-17 Championship season.

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

“As a development-minded coach, when I look back on my career, the clubs that I have enjoyed working at most are those who develop their own and I know that is part of the Rhinos way.

“One of the best things about rugby league is the relationship you build with your players and I am looking forward to reconnecting with a number of guys I have worked with previously who are now at the Rhinos, but also I am excited about meeting and working with everyone else as well.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan
Jamie Jones-Buchanan will remain in charge of Leeds Rhinos for the next two games after Rohan Smith was named head coach (Dave Howarth/PA)

“I love coaching and helping players, young and old, to get better. As a coach you want to help them in their journey in their footy and in life and I am really looking forward to getting over to Leeds and starting to work with the guys.”

Richard Agar stepped down as head coach on March 21, with his assistant Jamie Jones-Buchanan taking charge of the side.

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said Jones-Buchanan would remain in charge for the upcoming games against Toulouse and Hull KR while Smith’s paperwork is completed.

Hetherington added: “We are extremely pleased to have secured one of the most exciting young coaches in the game at present.

“Rohan Smith is highly regarded both here in England and Australia and is someone who is passionate about coaching and most importantly for us, excited about developing our players and a winning culture and environment.”

Leeds have taken three points from their first nine Super League games this season and are just a point above bottom side Toulouse, who travel to Headingley on Friday.