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Rohan Smith reveals “pressing and imminent” recruitment decisions

Rohan Smith

Recruitment and retention is the key in Super League and much of the big rugby league news, Super League news, has centred around this with big announcements coming out of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Hull KR.

However Wigan, Warrington and Hull KR announce big signings and clubs like St Helens, Hull FC, Huddersfield Giants and others are linked with big signings of their own, there hasn’t been much at the rumour mill at Headingley.

They have been focused on resigning their current stars, but mostly those not out of contract, with the only rumoured signings not coming to pass such as Luke Brooks going to Manly Sea Eagles and Lachlan Fitzgibbon heading to Warrington.

They have announced the signing of Mickael Goudemand.

There is also a desire among Leeds fans to see their current stars out of contract sign new deals such as Blake Austin.

When asked about this, Rohan Smith said: “Yeah, we’re still working through. There’s a bunch of decisions still to be made and we’ll announce those in time.”

When pressed for a timescale, Smith said some things were pressing and imminent:

“Yeah, recruitment and retention is a sort of simultaneous process. So there’s no strict timescale. Next season doesn’t start until February, but we know we have to work through those.

“There’s some decisions that are pressing and imminent, others can evolve in time and as I’ve said, those that are off contract have got the opportunity to look elsewhere also. That’s the nature of the competition and the nature of the system.”

When asked about the focus on players currently contracted to the club, Rohan Smith said:

“I think it’s important to lock people in that are part of the 3, 4, 5 year journey that we’re on here. It’s difficult once players are off contract and it’s open slather, that’s when things can get messy.

“But in the end, the player also has the right to wait and be off contract if he wants to. So it’s a two way street there. Players want to stay, they want to secure their future and we want to do that as well.

“A lot of our younger players have earned the right to get an extension and an upgrade on their current figures. So we’re happy to do that.”

He confirmed that there is more work being done on extensions:

“Yeah, we’re working through a bunch of extra extensions and for those people that are going to be here for long term it’s important that we secure them and get them to feel like Leeds is home.”

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