It’s fair to say that Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith has enjoyed an incredible season in Super League – even though he wasn’t in the UK for half of it.
Appointed back in April of this year, Smith didn’t arrive until May when he took reins of the Leeds players from interim coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan who had done well to stem the losing tide at Headingley.
Smith’s impact was immediate and since that moment, the Rhinos have become one of the most in-form teams in the competition, reaching the play-offs after being second bottom earlier in the season.
It truly is one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of Super League and now Smith and his men are just 80 minutes from Grand Final glory when they take on St Helens at Old Trafford next weekend.
The increase in good form has prompted great attention on Smith who was asked in one of his pre-match press conferences ahead of next weekend’s clash about whether or not he would have ambitions to go back and coach in the NRL after enjoying a number of backroom staff roles in that Australian competition.
However, Smith has revealed his commitment to the cause at Headingley.
“I’m very open minded, I’m privileged to be in the position and I’ve only just got here,” Smith said.
“I plan to be here, but sport is a mad business. I’m very committed to the English game and Leeds are my priority.
“I have got no plan except to do my best for Leeds.”
Should Smith guide Leeds to Grand Final victory on Saturday, it would be the Rhinos ninth Super League title and their first since Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow retired in 2017.
Whatever happens though, there is no doubt that the Headingley club are in good hands for the foreseeable future under Smith, who has has proven himself to be a top class coach since taking over midway through the campaign.