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Leeds Rhinos: Ian Blease breaks silence on Brad Arthur reports

Ian Blease, new Leeds Rhinos sporting director, at Salford Red Devils stadium

Leeds Rhinos sporting director Ian Blease has commented on reports that Brad Arthur is set to become the Leeds Rhinos head coach until the end of the season.

The Rhinos had a dramatic golden point win over London Broncos today, but their performance has been labelled “shambolic“.

Chev Walker, the club’s interim coach, was notably and surprisingly joined by Ian Blease in the post-game press conference.

Reports came this morning suggesting Brad Arthur was set to join the club as Rohan Smith’s successor,

Arthur had been the head coach for a decade in Parramatta, and has never taken on the role anywhere else.

His dismissal came in May as the Eels had just three wins all season, and sat in 14th place in the table.

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Blease was asked about the reports, and responded: “The purpose why I’m here is for a bit of clarity on that.

“I’ve got three phases in my mind.

“Phase one was meeting and interviewing and speaking to the candidates who had applied – which went pretty well over the last week or two.

“Stage two is now firming up some options that we can look at, but there’s nothing officially been done yet, so that’ll carry on into next week now.

“Obviously, it’s a really important decision for us as a club. We want to make sure we get that right so there’s still thinks we need to discuss and do.

We’ve got Rob’s funeral tomorrow so nothing will be announced by the club until next week.”

Brad Arthur “an option” for Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos Brad Arthur

Credit: Imago Images

Asked if the club were in ‘advanced talks’ with Arthur, Blease responded:

“Him and a number of candidates have been discussed and interviews by last week by me so I’ll be making those choices next week.”

Perhaps lending some credence to the reports that linked him with only joining until the end of the year, asked if this would be the case, Blease responded: “That’s an option. It’s one of our options.”

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