Connect with us

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos boss speaks out on transfer-linked player

Super League

Leeds Rhinos remain in contention for the play-offs, despite an up-and-down season. A string of injuries to key players has hampered the Rhinos’ progress this season. Their injury crisis prompted them to dip into the loan market to sign Matty Russell from Warrington Wolves.

Leeds face a crucial Super League game against St Helens this Friday. They need a win to remain in touch with the top six. Russell goes straight into Leeds’ 21-man squad, alongside the returning Harry Newman, who has missed several games recently thanks to a back injury.

Ash Handley is also in the squad, meaning the Leeds back division is nearly back to full strength, although Paul Momirovski and David Fusitu’a remain long-term absentees.

Ahead of the game, Leeds head coach, Rohan Smith, has given an update on the contract status of one of the Rhinos’ first-team regulars, whose place in the starting line-up may come under threat by Russell’s signature.

Leeds Rhinos boss gives contract update

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith

Credit: Imago Images

Luis Roberts joined the Rhinos before the 2023 season, although his opportunities were limited in his first year at the club. However, following a strong pre-season and several injuries in Leeds’ backs division, he has been a regular in 2024.

Roberts has made 11 appearances in Super League this season, scoring three tries. His contract is due to expire at the end of this season and he has been linked with a move away, with two Super League sides in recent weeks. However, Smith has now confirmed he is keen to keep Roberts at Leeds and discussions about a new conversation are underway.

“Not very often are they super-straightforward anymore, there’s always complications or options or whatnot. We have had chats with Luis and they are ongoing as we’ve had with some other players.”

When asked whether Roberts was someone Smith would like to see remain at Leeds, Smith confirmed he wants him to stay at Headingley beyond this season.

“I’ve strived to bring players in that can develop. Luis has developed over his time at the club so he is certainly someone I can see staying at the club and continuing on his development.”

Smith praises Roberts’ impact this season

Credit: Imago Images

Smith was full of praise for the impact Roberts has made this season. He believes Roberts is a positive influence on the Rhinos squad.

“He is one of those guys players like playing with because he fits in, does his job with no fuss and is a good teammate.

“He helps others with his chat and his general footy awareness. He is a guy who, as a young kid, you’d say has had a good season for where he is at in his development.”

Roberts, who can play both in the centres and on the wing, has mainly played on the wing in Fusitu’a’s absence this season, When asked where he sees Roberts’ future in the Leeds side, Smith confirmed he would like Roberts to get more game time in the centres going forward.

“Luis practised mostly as a centre through our pre-season,” Smith said. “Given the circumstances of our roster, an opportunity came on the wing.

He is a good footy player, he has got good awareness for the game and has learned to play wing at a decent level, but he is a better centre at this point in time and that’s something we’d like to explore more, particularly as players are more available on the wing.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Leeds Rhinos