Rohan Smith reveals conversation that changed youngster’s career

Leeds Rhinos may be without Kruise Leeming at present but they didn’t miss him against Wakefield Trinity with Jarrod O’Connor standing out.

He has developed into a superb number nine under Rohan Smith and speaking after the game Smith revealed the conversation that could have changed O’Connor’s career.

He said:

“I can’t take a lot of credit for that kid. He is a tough competitor, does whatever he is asked to do, very early in the piece I suggested that it might be a decent career move to play dummyhalf given his size mostly people are looking for a big and skilful or a very skilled 13 and Jarrod has based his game off hard work and competing more so.

“So, he might be better off developing some dummyhalf skills and he just said yep what do I need to do and he got cracking on it straight away.

“The other boys love him, they love playing with him because he will do anything for the team. He will keep going until he gets subbed and then he will high five the bloke that comes on for him.

“He is a great teammate and a great kid.”

He also revealed O’Connor was close to playing the full 80 minutes:

“That was kind off the plan particularly when Bentley went on earlier than expected with the reshuffle.

“I see James Bentley having real versatility value playing on the edge, in the middle, he was a hooker / 13 when I was coaching at Bradford so I thought it was a good opportunity to give him some pick ups from dummyhalf and see how it goes for later in the season.”

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