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Rohan Smith responds to Rhyse Martin exit rumours

Leeds Rhinos Rhyse Martin

Rohan Smith has spoken for the first time after reports emerged that Leigh Leopards had tabled an offer for Leeds Rhinos’ off-contract forward Rhyse Martin.

Per Leeds Live, it was revealed that the Papua New Guinea star had been made a “lucrative offer” by the Leopards with Leeds Rhinos under threat of losing their second-rower.

Martin signed for Leeds Rhinos in 2019 and has been one of the club’s most consistent performers despite regularly having to chop and change between the centres and the second row on account of injuries.

During his time in England, he’s racked up almost 120 appearances and well over 900 points wearing Blue and Amber but his contract is set to expire at the end of the season, making him one of the most high-profile off-contract players in Super League.

Previous reports had suggested that Martin could be a target for NRL side The Dolphins but it now seems that Leigh Leopards pose the biggest threat to Leeds Rhinos retaining him, as per Leeds Live, and Rohan Smith has now had his say.

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“We want Rhyse to stay” – Leeds Rhinos make stance on star clear

Leeds Rhinos Brodie Croft Rhyse Martin

Credit: Imago Images

After a brief Super League hiatus due to the Challenge Cup Final, it’s the return of Super League and Leeds Rhinos face a trip to face languishing Hull FC in what will prove to be an emotional game given it marks the first for the club since the passing of club legend Rob Burrow.

A number of tributes are in place to celebrate the life of Burrow at the game, something that Hull FC confirmed previously, however, Rhyse Martin was one of the other key topics of the presser.

Asked to comment on the recent reports, Smith told BBC West Yorkshire Sport: “No, we’d like Rhyse to stay and Rhyse has been made an offer and that’s something that, along with a few other players, Ian will get his head around when he’s in the building and we’ll discuss that and take the course of action as it goes.

“But we want Rhyse to stay.”

Ian Blease faces tough task of re-signing Rhyse Martin as number one priority

Ian Blease, new Leeds Rhinos sporting director, at Salford Red Devils stadium

Credit: Imago Images

It was a clearcut stance from Smith with Leeds Rhinos clearly a side that has the pulling power and finances, but whether they have the cap could be another question. It will be down to newly-appointed Ian Blease to work his magic and try and keep Martin at the club, one of many tasks that the ex-Salford man will have on his plate.

Speaking on Blease’s busy schedule, Smith said: “There’s always plenty going on, whether it’s all in the press or visible for you guys, there’s always plenty going on. So it’s a big club and there’s plenty to do, and it’ll be an opportunity for Ian to get started next week.”

Undeniably though, re-signing Rhyse Martin has to be number one on the list for Blease with the second-rower having been at the heart of all that has been good at Leeds Rhinos in recent years, being a match-winner in his own right on many occasions giving his proficiency with the boot.

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