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Jon Wilkin’s verdict on Rohan Smith prior to his Leeds Rhinos departure

Jon Wilkin, Rohan Smith and the Leeds Rhinos badge

Leeds Rhinos have parted ways with Rohan Smith, but just before that, Jon Wilkin gave his opinion on whether they should make the change.

Less than an hour before Smith’s departure was announced after two seasons at the club, Wilkin spoke on Sky Sports’ ‘The Verdict’ on whether he was under pressure.

He said: “Yeah, I think pressure is an interesting thing, isn’t it? Because, if you’re good at something, pressure comes with the territory.

“If you’re a good club, pressure is there all the time. So there’s pressure on Leeds for all of the time.

“And without doubt, Rohan Smith is under pressure. He’s under pressure from day one.

“That pressure is building because Leeds have been working for, I think, a recruitment thing for a number of years. It seems to have got a rise this year with the players they’ve brought in.”

Quiz: Can you name all these ex-Leeds Rhinos players?

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Leeds Rhinos “unacceptable” under Smith

Wilkin then started to give his opinion on the side’s performances this year, and he didn’t hold back.

He said: “They look defeated at home. Now, every now and again when you’re at games, you catch moments.

“I glance over at the Leeds bench (during the Hull FC game). They were well and truly in the game and we were sat there with their heads in their hands – it was almost as if they were resigned to defeat.

They were still in the game at this point, but they looked defeated.”

A mentality like that can often be down to the coach not resonating with the side, and Ian Blease and Gary Hetherington will now be looking to bring someone in that can strike a chord with them.

Wilkin continued: “Quite simply, Leeds are too big a club with too much expectation to sit where they’re sitting in the competition.

“It’s just not acceptable for me, you know, as a rugby league fan, for a club like Leeds, with the resources they’ve got to sit where they sit.

“It’s not acceptable. The fans and the people around the club of Leeds should not make it feel like it’s acceptable where they are.

“They should be disgruntled with the form and where they are at the minute.”

Now, many fans are hopeful of change, amidst rumours that Paul Rowley could be heading to Headingley.

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