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Leeds Rhinos to interview “front-runner” for vacant Head Coach’s role

Leeds Rhinos

It has only been two days since the Leeds Rhinos parted company with former head coach, Rohan Smith. However, it appears that they are not wasting any time in making a move to find his successor. The Rhinos face Leigh Leopards in Super League tonight, in an emotional occasion which will celebrate the life of Rob Burrow.

The Rhinos are currently struggling in seventh place in Super League. A run of poor form, culminating in defeat at Hull FC, led to Smith’s departure. A number high-profile names have been linked with the Rhino’s vacancy since Smith’s exit, and it appears that the pieces are starting to fall in place.

Yesterday, new Sporting Director, Ian Blease, stated that the club were willing to consider candidates domestically and internationally in their search for Smith’s replacement.

Now, according to reports in Australia, a former NRL head coach has emerges as the clear front runner for the role.

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Leeds Rhinos to interview “front-runner” for Head Coach’s role

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

The Courier Mail in Australia has revealed that Brad Arthur is the current “front-runner” for the Leeds Rhinos job and will be interviewed for the role on Friday night (Australian time). Arthur’s agent, Chris Orr spoke to the publication and revealed that Arthur was considering the opening at Leeds.

“Brad is considering all of his options and Super League is certainly of some interest to him, especially a quality organisation like the Leeds Rhinos,” Orr said.

“Brad is a career coach and after 11 years with the Parramatta Eels he has plenty to offer any organisation he joins.

“His experience is extremely valuable, players love playing for him and no-one will ever work harder than Brad Arthur.”

The Courier Mail goes on to state that, while Arthur is open to considering the offer from Leeds, it is by no means a foregone conclusion. Arthur’s preference would be to remain in Australia. Nevertheless, he is open to a conversation with the Rhinos to understand the nature of the project at the club.

Rowley non-committal on Leeds links

Salford Red Devils coach Paul Rowley speaks to Sky Sports pundit and former Leeds Rhinos player Jamie Jones-Buchanan

Credit: Imago Images

The news of Arthur’s interview comes after Paul Rowley, another name to be heavily linked with the Leeds job, appeared as part of the Sky Sports coverage of the Castleford versus Hull KR game. Rowley had been name checked by Blease in his earlier press conference and has a long-standing relationship with Blease from his time at the Salford Red Devils.

Rowley was asked whether he had been approached by Leeds, but he was adamant that no approach had been made. He refused on to be drawn on speculation linking him with the role, stating that, as no approach had been made, he was not willing to discuss a hypothetical situation.

However, he did not entirely rule himself out of the role, stating:

“Like anybody in life, like I said before, and in employment and in work, then you have a discussion, and it’s certainly a privilege if you’re having a discussion with a club like, well, previous in Hull, and certainly Leeds Rhinos were to pick up the phone, then absolutely.”

Salford host St Helens in a crucial game in their hunt for the playoffs on Sunday. All eyes will be on Leeds, following the news of Arthur’s interview, to see whether Rowley is in the running for the job, or whether they will keep hold of their highly rated coach.

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