Rohan Smith’s amusingly honest opinion of Harry Newman return

Harry Newman made his return to Leeds Rhinos on Friday after his latest hamstring injury and he announced his return with a try.

A poetic moment, after the game Rohan Smith was asked what he was thinking when Newman scored and he gave an amusingly honest answer.

“I don’t think you want the honest answer. I’m thinking about what we’re going to do on the next set of six,” Smith said.

“They might do a wibbly short kick off or try and get the ball and try and disrupt us.

“Reflecting now, it is a nice and fitting way for him to come back. He has been patient and trained really hard.

“Our physio team have done a terrific job with and our strength and conditioning crew have seen him through.

“I’d also have to comment on James Bentley. He today looked very fit, looked sharp. First game since the World Cup.

“The physios have done a quality job.”

Newman perhaps could have been brought on much earlier when Ash Handley went off injured. However, Smith was never tempted to bring him on earlier than planned:

“No, not at all. I made a decision in consultation with our medical team about playing Harry for 25-30 minutes just to get the ball rolling as I would have if he had been fit in pre-season. I was applying that principle.

“Rhyse Martin is a very accomplished centre in my opinion so I had no issue with playing him there.”

When asked about how delighted Newman’s teammates are, Smith joked that the happiest people are the physio team:

“The most delighted people are the physios because they might not see quite as much of him for a bit.

“For a guy that is acknowledged and celebrated for his individual ability, he is extremely team orientated which is not always the case for those players who have that athletic prowess. The boys are happy and he’s happy with his contribution to the team.

“We will see how he pulls up, he is a unique athlete and he needs to be treated as that. We will dust off and review and put together a plan for next week.”

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