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“If Leeds Rhinos were to pick up the phone then…” – Paul Rowley reveals if he would discuss head coach job

Leeds Rhinos

Salford Red Devils head coach, Paul Rowley, is a man in demand. Earlier in the season he rejected an approach from Hull FC to replace Tony Smith as head coach of the Super League strugglers. Now, he is being heavily linked with the vacant head coach’s role at Leeds Rhinos.

Given Rowley’s track record at Salford, it is almost inevitable that he is linked with other jobs in Super League. He has consistently defied expectations and financial constraints during his time with the club to drive the Red Devils into a competitive position in the table.

This season, the Red Devils are comfortably inside the top six in Super League and look set to feature in the end of season playoffs. However, there is a question as to whether Rowley will be with the club, given the links with the vacant head coach’s role at Headingley.

Now, Rowley has opened up on whether he would be open to a conversation with the Rhinos, should they make an approach for him.

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Rowley discusses whether he would be open to a conversation with the Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos target Paul Rowley

Speaking as the guest on the Sky Sports coverage of the Castelford Tigers versus Hull KR game, Rowley discussed whether he would be open to an approach from the Rhinos. Rowley stated that he believes it would only be sensible to have a conversation, should the phone ring.

“Like anybody in life, like I said before, and in employment and in work, then you have a discussion, and it’s certainly a privilege if you’re having a discussion with a club like, well, previous in Hull, and certainly Leeds Rhinos were to pick up the phone, then absolutely.”

Rowley was asked whether he believed Ian Blease had attempted to engineer the move. Ian Blease was Managing Director at Salford before moving to Leeds Rhinos as Sporting Director. Rowley does not believe that that is how Blease would operate.

“I think engineering a move, I don’t think that’s how Ian Blease works, it’s certainly not how I work. I think anything in life, if we were doing anything, it would be up front and honest and transparent.

“And so, regardless of what’s in contracts, though I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t even know what’s in it myself. So, because my motivation’s fulfilment and I’m fulfilled where I am at Salford, I’ve got no dramas with that.

Rowley was not “licking his lips” at prospect of Smith losing his job

Rowley was then asked whether he thought the timing of Leeds’ decision to part company with Smith was strange. Rowley was not surprised, however, he believed Smith had been put in a tough position and explained that he is always sad to see an individual lose their job.

“Well you could clearly see that there’s a lot of noise around it and the supporters were there, there was a little bit of unrest and media were all over it as well. So, I wouldn’t say I was surprised because obviously I read headlines and see enough to know that there’s pressure there.

“But what I will say is for me when I saw and watched the Hull v Leeds game last week I felt very sad I felt very sad for Rohan because he’s a human being I felt I felt sad for Tony [Smith, Rohan Smith’s uncle] who was in between you two last week.” Rowley said, referring to Tony Smith’s appearance on Sky during the Leeds v Hull FC game which led to Rohan Smith’s dismissal.

“I thought it was a tough position and I think and it’s sad because we’re talking about someone’s employment somebody who’s here with the family somebody who’s committed somebody who loves the sport and the group that he represents so I only ever feel sadness in them situations.

“I would never ever you know sit there licking my lips at the prospect of taking another bloke’s job.”

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