Rohan Smith has already begun making his mark on the Leeds squad.
He’s made some big calls letting Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Dwyer and Tom Briscoe go ahead of 2023, whilst Bodene Thompson is set to join them due to there being a lack of quota spots for the Rhinos to give away for next season with the last remaining spot set to go to a centre in the shape of either Ricky Leutele or Nene MacDonald.
Those signings are simply speculation and rumour at present, but Smith has already wrapped up promising forwards Justin Sangare and James McDonnell but the latter is set to make an appearance for one of Leeds’ biggest arrivals tonight.
McDonnell made a splash around this time last season when he scored a spectacular solo try in the final round of the season against Wigan showing what the big, young second-row could bring to Wigan as he developed.
In order to aid that development he joined Leigh on loan for this season and has played a massive role in their surge to the top of the Championship which led to plenty of suitors coming in for the young man before Leeds wrapped him up on a two-year deal from 2023.
He celebrated that deal with a try for the Centurions but in his most recent performance was shown a red card.
However, that didn’t deter Wigan from recalling him ahead of tonight’s clash with Toulouse and McDonnell has made his way on to the Wigan bench as he hopes to have a strong end to 2022 before taking up his exciting deal at Headingley next year.
It’ll be interesting to see if he can nail down a spot in the Wigan side for the rest of the year and help on the road to Old Trafford on which they could come up against Leeds.