Rohan Smith on Leeds Rhinos Round One team selection

After his side played in their second pre-season friendly of the new season, Rohan Smith spoke to the press and what his team for Round One could look like.

This focused on the centre roles with both Harry Newman and Nene MacDonald both doubts with injuries and four players spending minutes at centre on Saturday.

On whether the friendly changed his thoughts for Round One, he said:

“No different this evening to this morning, as far as who might play in round one. It was positive to see all four do well. Derrell grew up playing centre, Ash Handley is a good footballer all round, he looked like a centre today and he also looked like a fullback but he is a winger, so that’s a good sign.

“Roberts was good, I see him as a winger and centre going forward. He’s a big kid and good kid.

“Levi Edwards did quite well today.

“Obviously Harry Newman will be one centre, Nene MacDonald is a very accomplished centre but probably has played his best rugby on the wing. Fusitu’a can play at centre as well. We have created good versatility, that’s what I want.

“Who plays Round One might be different to Round Two and Round Three.”

On the chances of young players playing he said:

“Luis has played Super League so he has a bit more of a proven path, Levi has only just turned 19. There is an undermentioned difference between playing Super League once or twice than every week.

“All players need some kind of stage progression into an every week player. Sometimes a young kid jumps in and stay but that’s a rarity.

“Those kids will get their chance when veterans are out but they won’t get their opportunity by playing, more veteran players will get first opportunity because they’ve earnt that right.”

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