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Leeds Rhinos announce major off-field restructuring

Leeds Rhinos have had an underwhelming 2024 season so far. After a summer of major investment, including the signings of Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers, the Rhinos sit seventh in the table, two points adrift of Salford Red Devils in sixth place in Super League.

However, the nature of the Rhinos’ performance has been a major concern. Leeds suffered a heavy defeat away at St Helens at the weekend, and struggled to impose themselves on the game, despite taking an early lead.

Head Coach, Rohan Smith, has come under severe pressure from the Rhinos’ faithful, with the travelling Leeds fans chanting for Smith’s exit from the stands at the Totally Wicked Stadium. After the game, Smith denied he felt under pressure, but results are currently going against him.

Now, the Leeds Rhinos have announced a major off-field restructuring, aimed at improving performances across the board.

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Leeds Rhinos announce to make major off-field appointment

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

Leeds Rhinos have announced a major restructuring of their performance department, with the club set to appoint a new sporting director. The director will be responsible for setting the strategic direction, leadership and oversight of the Rhinos’ rugby department.  The statement reads:

“Leeds Rhinos have revealed a major re-structuring of the club’s performance department with plans to appoint a new Sporting Director to lead the Rugby department.

“The Sporting Director will provide strategic direction, leadership and oversight of the rugby department at Leeds Rhinos as a member of the club’s Board of Directors. The new wide-ranging role will oversee all age grades at the club along with support for the Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s RL Development Plan. The successful applicant will have a proven experience in a senior managerial position with a strong understanding of corporate finance and performance management principles.

“The Sporting Director will oversee the Rugby League operation, providing leadership for the coaching and playing staff in line with the club’s strategy and vision, management of salary cap compliance, player and staff recruitment and retention, and the youth development and medical departments.

Hetherington believes decision will boost the Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking about the appointment, chief executive, Gary Hetherington, stated that the role was an important one for the future of the club. He explained that the new Sporting Director will work across both the men’s and women’s teams.

“This decision will boost the Rhinos fortunes now and in the future. It’s a big job and we are looking for someone with extensive experience in sport to lead our plan to build a culture of excellence, innovation and learning to support performance and development and someone who can make a difference.

“This will be done as part of our strategic plan for the development of men’s and women’s Rugby League at the highest level achievable within our financial means in accordance with our mission and values. Clearly winning on the field is a key focus for this new role but, perhaps more importantly, doing so whilst developing an environment for sustainable long-term success that promotes the best local talent with the recruitment of world class players.”

The statement concludes, “Hetherington stressed that in handing over day-to-day responsibilities for the rugby department to the new appointee and all decisions to do with player and staff retention and recruitment, it will allow him to focus more on the business and income stream challenges facing the club.

The Rhinos expect to receive internal and external applications for the newly created position with the recruitment process beginning immediately and expected to be concluded in early June.”

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