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Rohan Smith reacts to Leeds Rhinos’ Ian Blease appointment

Leeds Rhinos Rohan Smith Ian Blease

Rohan Smith has spoken for the first time since the appointment of Leeds Rhinos’ new Sporting Director Ian Blease with plenty of fans having speculated that Blease’s arrival could spell the exit for Smith.

Smith has been under immense pressure from the Rhinos fans of late with chants of ‘We want Rohan out’ having been heard at numerous games, the first being the victory over this week’s opponents Hull FC back in April.

Despite that, the Australian has remained calm on the matter and batted back the suggestion that he is under pressure, however, for many fans and pundits that pressure rose after the appointment of Ian Blease.

Former Leeds Rhinos man Blake Austin posted on his social media that it was easy to add “two and two together” as he hinted at Paul Rowley following Blease to Headingley to create what Austin referred to as the “Salford Rhinos coming together”.

At Blease’s announcement on Monday, he made no comments on Paul Rowley and spoke positively about Rohan Smith and now the coach has had his say on the Sporting Director.

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Rohan Smith “fully supportive” of Ian Blease appointment at Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking to the press had of Leeds Rhinos game against Hull FC tomorrow, Rohan Smith has confirmed that he is “fully supportive” of the Ian Blease appointment and revealed a previous connection with the ex-Salford man.

“Firstly, yes, I’m fully supportive of the appointment,” Smith told BBC West Yorkshire Sport.

He continued: “I’ve come across Ian in my time as a very young coach. I was on the other side of some teams that Ian was involved in, and then Ian as a player agent there for a little while while I was at Bradford, we had some conversations and spent a bit of time together.

“We don’t know each other well, but there’s a respect there and looking forward to working together. We had an impromptu chat on Monday in and amongst media and induction and getting shown around the place and whatnot.

“We’ll look to get the ball rolling on Monday when it kicks off officially.”

Smith also spoke on the emerging Rhyse Martin situation with the Papua New Guinea international being subject to an offer from Leigh Leopards, per Rugby League Live.

“We want to keep Rhyse,” was Smith’s blunt assessment as he confirmed that the club had offered Martin a new deal, suggesting that it would be one of the first pieces of business that Blease sets about when he officially starts on Monday.

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