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Jon Wilkin claims Leeds Rhinos head coach appointment made in ‘desperation’

Jon Wilkin Brad Arthur Leeds Rhinos

Following Brad Arthur’s appointment as the new Leeds Rhinos head coach until the end of the season, Jon Wilkin has given his opinion on the appointment.

His signing was announced today, until the end of the season, after weeks of speculation, and will aim to achieve a playoff place for the side.

The Rhinos have won their last two games, although a golden point extra-time victory over London Broncos was incredibly unconvincing.

Now, they sit just two points behind the playoff places.

On Sky Sports‘ The Verdict, Jon Wilkin, asked if it’s a good appointment, said: “Yeah, I think so.

“I think it’s really interesting he mentions standards and raising standards that have been brought in because Leeds feel like they need guidance and leadership till the end of the year. It seems strange, doesn’t it, just to announce a coach to the end of this season and not beyond.

“But that maybe shows you where Leeds are at, that they’re sort of desperately looking to make a run on the play-offs and maybe Brad Arthur’s the man to help do that for the rest of 2024.”

His suggestion that it’s desperation to appoint him is an interesting one, but their appointment marks a difference in approach to Hull FC, who appointed John Cartwright from 2025, and instead have an interim coach this year in Simon Grix.

It does certainly show that they want to reach the playoffs this year.

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Jon Wilkin details Leeds Rhinos ‘ playoff hopes

Leeds Rhinos celebrate

Credit: Imago Images

Wilkin continued: “They’ve got a massive game this week against Warrington Wolves and they’re only two points off the playoffs now.

“They really need to start getting those wins together because if the teams around them start to get going, Brad Arthur or not, it’s going to be difficult for Leeds.

“But I think in the short term, good appointment. What’s interesting is will it extend beyond that or not, and we’ll wait and see.”

Yeah you kind of touched on it there John but to bring somebody in for the final you know nine ten games before the playoffs I mean will it work?

I don’t know. I’ve worked under maybe six, seven, eight coaches. It maybe takes six months for, finally, the penny to drop with players.

“Sometimes with the messaging, ideally you get a full pre-season, right?

“I think the importance for Brad Arthur is to come in with crystal clear clarity and a succinct messaging that aligns all of the troops at Leeds behind one simple concept.

“Like, defend like the game matters, not like defence is just your opportunity to wait until you get the ball and then to attack. The best sports teams in the world take defending as seriously as they take attacking.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. A Jarrett

    July 11, 2024 at 2:29 pm

    Ifs and buts Wilkin. He doesn’t know what’s going on at Headingley. He’s just giving his thoughts which mean absolutely zero. Let’s face it he’s so good he’s a pundit for Sky Sports a worn out was been.

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