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Leeds Rhinos set to headhunt new Sporting Director from Super League Rivals

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos have suffered a below par 2024 season so far. The Rhinos invested heavily in their playing squad in the close season, with the notable capture of Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers from Super League rivals, Salford Red Devils. 

Leeds’ slow start to the year has led them to pursue the biggest restructuring of their Rugby operation for several years. The Rhinos have been without a Sporting Director since Kevin Sinfield left the club for Rugby Union in 2021.

Announcing the creation of the role, Chief Executive, Gary Hetherington, stated that the club would be looking for a candidate with significant expertise and experience. HetheringtonHetherington also stated that the club would be targeting an appointment by the early part of June.

Now, Serious About Rugby League understands that the club is on the verge of announcing their new Sporting Director, and they will join from a rival Super League club.

Quiz: Can you name all these ex-Leeds Rhinos players?

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Leeds Rhinos to appoint Sporting Director

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

Serious Rugby League understands that Salford Red Devils Managing Director, will soon be announced at the new Sporting Director of the Leeds Rhinos. A source close to the deal stated that Blease would join the Rhinos imminently.

Prior to his career in administration, Blease was a Rugby League player, who played for Salford and Swinton Lions during his career. He has overseen a period of transformation at Salford, with the club going from perennially battling relegation to genuine contenders for silverware.

Blease joined Salford in 2016, under the ownership of Marwan Koukash. During his time at the club, Salford have appeared in a Super League Grand Final and a Challenge Cup final and are in Super League’s top six this season, confounding expectations that they would struggle to be competitive.

The move will also raise questions of the future of Rohan Smith and Paul Rowley. Rowley enjoys an excellent relationship with Blease and he may be the next to cross the Pennines to Headingley.

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