Leeds Rhinos are set to take on Castleford Tigers after losing out on the play offs after huge defeats to Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons.
The Rhinos are set for a major shake up over the winter with a number of key exits and Leeds will be hoping for some high profile signings coming in the other direction.
Leeds have already confirmed a number of exits such as Aidan Sezer to Wests Tigers but Rohan Smith has confirmed he has played his last game after suffering concussion.
This is a sad end to his Leeds career. His former halfback partner is set to line up for the Tigers in an ironic twist.
Meanwhile, another Leeds player could be playing their final game in the shape of Luke Hooley who has been linked with the Tigers.
Rohan Smith has now addressed this saying: “Luke will no doubt draw some interest I would imagine given that we’ve signed an established NRL fullback and Luke was brought in to be a backup fullback and he’s done a commendable job I think in recent times in tough circumstances.
“So he’s come in and he’s done his job. If something happens there external that will be a conversation but we’re looking forward to Luke finishing the season strongly with us.”
He admitted that he would be happy to have a conversation about a move for Hooley:
“I’d be happy to have conversations behind closed doors with players that want to explore their opportunities, particularly when it’s in a situation where we’ve recruited over the top of him essentially and we’ve still got Richie Myler with us.
“So if something happens there, we’ll have those conversations.
“We have conversations around not only the present but the future and the way it works in sport now when players are coming into their final year of their contract, sometimes they’re looking for that early security.
“Even around this time of year, they’re looking for their security of 2025 and beyond and sometimes you can’t give that to them. Sometimes it can work out in the best interest of the player and the club to move on but those conversations haven’t been had any time recently.”
He also spoke about assembling his squad for next year?
“Yeah that’s a disruption but it’s where most of the attention goes from the media is where players are signing and what’s going to happen to your roster next week and next month and next year. It’s an ongoing thing.
“That’s where recruitment and retention has basically become a 12 month of the year activity in the NRL and Super League because of that. Partly because of the speculation and partly because of players and clubs’ interest in securing their personal or the collective future. So there’s no right time sometimes, each situation is different.”