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Leeds Rhinos announce press conference to confirm new Sporting Director

Leeds Rhinos have called a press conference this morning to announce who their new Sporting Director will be as the club aims to move forward.

The press conference confirming the club’s new Sporting Director will be held at 11 am at Headingley with Salford Red Devils’ Ian Blease widely expected to be the individual named to the role.

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the presser with the release of a statement explaining exactly what will be revealed at 11 am, but not the who,

Their statement read: “Leeds Rhinos will host an in-person press conference in the Howard Suite at AMT Headingley today, Monday 10th June, at 11 am to announce the club’s new Sporting Director, who will lead the Rugby department moving forward.”

It was reported by Rugby League Live over the weekend that Salford’s Blease would be taking the role on, ending his tenure with the Red Devils, whom he has helped transform into one of Super League’s most exciting sides.

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Leeds Rhinos to announce Sporting Director

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

Leeds Rhinos confirmed their intent to hire a Sporting Director last month with club Chief Executive Gary Hetherington making the announcement.

That statement read: “Leeds Rhinos have revealed a major restructuring of the club’s performance department with plans to appoint a new Sporting Director to lead the Rugby department.”

The role of the Sporting Director has now been underlined once again in this morning’s statement from Leeds Rhinos, which revealed: “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 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.”

Ian Blease expected to take on new role

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

Names such as Kevin Sinfield, who had previously held such a role, were discussed but it now seems that Ian Blease will be the man to take on the role, as predicted back at the time of the announcement in May here.

Blease has been integral to transforming the fortunes at Salford Red Devils with the club having made it to Old Trafford and becoming one of the most entertaining teams in Super League on one of the tightest budgets.

Pairing Blease with the big budget at Leeds Rhinos could see the Headingley club’s fortunes transform, the Rhinos missing the playoffs last season and potentially on track to do so again in 2024 at the expense of Blease’s Salford.

Should Blease be the man who is announced in just over an hour’s time then it will spark plenty of suggestions about the future of Paul Rowley, who turned down the Hull FC job earlier in the year.

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