Rohan Smith plays a unique brand of rugby league and has a unique approach to coaching.
This is perhaps why he has surprised everyone by asking second-row Morgan Gannon to train at stand-off and even played him there against Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day.
He did this after he turned loose-forward Jarrod O’Connor into a hooker capable of starting a Grand Final.
O’Connor did debut at nine in 2020 but it was always considered a desperate measure rather than a position he would be comfortable in.
Not any more. However, after transitioning to the number nine role, O’Connor has not been preparing for any other positional changes unlike fellow youngster Gannon.
This comes as he confirmed to Serious About Rugby League that he will likely play nine and thirteen in 2023 and nowhere else:
“I don’t think there is really any other roles I’ll be playing I’m really enjoying 9/13 and just want to make sure I nail them down and keep improving every week.”
He also revealed that no decision has been made about whether he will start over Kruise Leeming like he did at the end of last season.
“Rohan hasn’t told me if I’ll start ahead of kruise but that’s because we will both need to fight for that position. Kruise is obviously one of the best hookers in the league and I know how hard he’s working this pre season which pushes me to make sure I’m doing more so I can get that position. I think this year we will bring out the best in each other.”
In 2023 he will take on the number 14 shirt vacated by Hull FC bound Brad Dwyer.
It is a big moment for the young man and he is “really excited” by it:
“When I found out I’d be wearing 14 I was really excited! I know a number doesn’t mean much when it comes to picking the team but to know Rohan believes in me enough that I’m closer to the starting numbers gives me confidence going into this year.”