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Leeds Rhinos: 5 new Head Coach candidates as club widen search

Leeds Rhinos coaching candidates

Leeds Rhinos are still without a head coach despite the expectation from many that they would utilise the international break to find a replacement for Rohan Smith.

The early favourites for the job, Paul Rowley and Brad Arthur, seem to be out of contention now with Salford boss Rowley steadfast in his stance that he will remain to see out the project he has started, meanwhile, Brad Arthur looks set for a huge job.

Per reports down under, Arthur has been approached and interviewed for the role of head coach of the potential Perth expansion team which could see him off the radar of the Rhinos.

That Perth job wouldn’t be until 2027 or later though which does leave some hope for Leeds Rhinos, who did interview the Australian, however, with talk dying down we’ve assessed five possible outside candidates that could take on the job.

Earlier this week, Sporting Director Ian Blease informed the Yorkshire Evening Post that the club were active in their search with Blease working through “high-calibre candidates in the coming week”.

We’ve taken a look at who some of those men could be.

Leeds Rhinos Quiz: Can you name these former Super League players? #2

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Five outsiders for the Leeds Rhinos job

Jason Demetriou

Credit: Getty Images

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs head coach Jason Demetriou is among the most high-profile coaches out of work at the moment with the former Wakefield Trinity man being sacked earlier this season.

He’s set to be replaced by Wayne Bennett but Demetriou was a name linked to the Hull FC job and given his Super League connections, it would make sense for that he’d take an interest in the Leeds Rhinos job.

Justin Holbrook

Dolphins Justin Holbrook in a press conference. COuld Leeds Rhinos approach him?

Credit: Imago Images

Former St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook was sacked from Gold Coast Titans in 2023 to the shock of many fans but he made a swift move to join Trent Robinson and serve as an assistant for the Roosters, however, a major club like Leeds Rhinos could tempt him to return to Super League.

What would make the Holbrook move more difficult is the fact that he is the current Papua New Guinea head coach, however, that’s expected to change after reports that he will replace Adrian Lam as Australia assistant. Perhaps taking on an assistant role in the international game means he could balance a Super League coaching role more easily?

Justin Morgan

Justin Morgan, as manager of Hull KR, looks dejected as he leaves the pitch. Is he a target for Leeds Rhinos?

Credit: Imago Images

Another name that will be familiar to Super League fans is Justin Morgan, the Welsh international who would go on to coach Hull KR from 2005 to 2011, helping guide the Robins to Super League promotion in 2007.

Since leaving the English game, Morgan has taken on a host of assistant coaching roles including the New Zealand national team, Canberra Raiders, Melbourne Storm New Zealand Warriors and currently North Queensland Cowboys. After over a decade out of the head coaching realm, perhaps the sway of Headingley could persuade him to return.

Dean Young

Credit: Getty Images

Young is the one name on this list that hasn’t had a Super League connection with the St George Illawarra Dragons assistant having spent all his career, both playing and coaching, down under. The 40-year-0ld spent his whole playing career with the Dragons, making over 200 appearances, before taking on the club’s junior sides.

He would then progress to assistant in the first team and even served as interim head coach during which time he made the infamous remark in a presser “same s**t, different day”, after a defeat to the Cowboys. He’d then leave to join the Cowboys before returning back to St George where he remains today. If Leeds Rhinos want to take another gamble, like they did with Rohan Smith, then Dean Young could be the man.

Ryan Carr

Ryan Carr

Credit: Imago Images

Former Featherstone Rovers boss Ryan Carr finishes off this shortlist and is the youngest of any candidate at just 35. Coincidentally, he coached 35 games as Fev head coach during the 2019 season where he took the club to the Million Pound Game. Defeat to Toronto Wolfpack served as his final game with Carr leaving to return to Australia after that.

Since then, he has coached the NSW Cup for Parramatta Eels and under Leeds Rhinos target Brad Arthur for the first team. He would take on the St George Illawarra Dragons job after the sacking of Anthony Griffin, coaching 12 games during the 2023 season.

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