Gary Hetherington set to have final say on huge controversy

Leeds Rhinos this week confirmed the departure of Zane Tetevano and now Rohan Smith has spoken about his exit.

Tetevano joined the club in 2021 but hasn’t played in months after he suffered a stroke due to a hole in his heart so the club allowed his release so he can return home.

Smith said: “Yeah, we talk about it in sports about you don’t always get to choose how you finish at a club and in his situation with a pretty unusual, uncommon medical issue, it’s disappointing.

“Zane gave his everything for the club in his time here and the key thing was for him to put his health first at this stage of his career and his life. Health is number one.

Asked about the prospect of him playing again, Smith said:

“I’m not exactly sure. The short term was that he wasn’t going to be able to play any time soon. That decision was made to head home and spend some time with his family.

“Whatever the future holds, I haven’t checked with the medical people on that. I hope that he’s got a happy and healthy and long life. That’s number one.”

As Tetevano is allowed to return to Australia, there has been a saga around the future of Nene MacDonald and his future at the club with him staying down under longer than expected.

His future is now in the hands of Gary Hetherington as Rohan Smith said:

“Yeah that’s one that’s in Gary’s hands at the moment. I’m very focused on what’s a huge game for us on Saturday against Wigan and Gary’s sure to update me when there’s some updates.

“I’m not going to speculate about possible scenarios or what may or may not happen. That’s in the hands of Gary and Nene’s management team.

“What we want is, you know, the best outcome for the club and also for Nene and his young family, we think a lot of Nene. But obviously there’s some things to work through there. So we’re, you know, we’re very much focused on the game on the weekend.”

One man’s exit is another’s chance however and it could be Riley Lumb’s debut:

“Yeah Riley’s a talented young kid that’s come through our group, our academy system. He’s played everywhere in the backline this season in academy, he’s a tough physical kid, done the whole pre-season with us, he’s a good player of the future, we’re a little bit light on for trips, so he gets his opportunity in the 21 which we’re excited for. We see Riley being a big part of the future of the runners.”