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Leeds Rhinos set for major signing? Rohan Smith speaks out

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the departure of Derrell Olpherts to Wakefield Trinity ahead of Round Five of Super League.

But this move raises the question: will the Leeds Rhinos use the subsequent cap space to make a signing of their own.

Rohan Smith was asked about the prospect of doing so, and said: “There’s no immediate plans to bring anyone in. It’s also one of those things, people aren’t usually available at this time of year unless there’s a circumstance that bobs up. We’re committed to the development of youth players and bringing players through our pathway, but we’ll always be looking to build on the squad as well if the right person comes along.”

Youngsters to replace Olpherts

Smith has faith in his young players in the backs and spoke highly about Ned McCormack and Max Simpson saying: “Ned’s a great young kid. He’s improved a lot. He hasn’t really played regular rugby league for more than a year. So he’s a fast learner and a good athlete and a terrific young kid. But with all those young guys, we’ll endeavour to pick them at the time that’s right rather than throwing him in there too early. But Ned certainly progressed well. Max Simpson’s not too far away from a return.

“We’ve got high hopes for some other young guys in our program as well.”

Leeds Rhinos to make key retentions

He was asked about using cap space for key retentions: “I’m not going to discuss the ins and outs of salary cap management and recruitment and retention. If there’s a direct question about a player, I’m happy to give you my version of that. But, you know, the cap is an ongoing thing, for sure.

“And we do want to retain and we do want to develop players from within. And that takes a lot of upgrades, but it’s also, you know, most clubs would say that they’d like to have some cap space for a rainy day or someone becomes available, or you, you know, you have a pressing need as the season goes on.

“It’s round five. I think it’s really important that we give opportunity to those that are in the building to show what they’ve got first as our first point of call.”

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