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“Talking is nearly over” – Rohan Smith claims Leeds Rhinos are “ready for action”

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith

A week out from the start of the Super League season Rohan Smith has revealed the “talking is over” and it’s time to “show some actions” with his Leeds Rhinos side hoping for a return to the playoffs.

The 2023 season marked the first full season that Smith had with the club after joining midway through the 2022 campaign and turning the ship around at Headingley.

He took Leeds Rhinos to the Grand Final after taking over when they were languishing in eleventh place but the 2023 season didn’t go to plan, the Rhinos failing to make the playoffs and accruing some huge losses against the likes of Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons.

Smith has now put his identity on the team with major changes in the off-season, particularly in the spine with four new faces set to start, however, such large investments mean results are expected.

Speaking on the Leeds Rhinos YouTube channel, Smith explained: “It’s been a good productive pre-season, a lot of growth with the new team really, some familiarity but there’s been a big turnover in the spine so it’s been really productive.

“I think the talking is nearly over and ready to get out there and show some actions.”

Leeds Rhinos kick their campaign off on Friday night with a home clash against Salford Red Devils, one of the teams whom they raided for talent with Andy Ackers and Brodie Croft both arriving at Headingley to form half of the new-look spine.

Leeds Rhinos ready for action claims Rohan Smith

Rohan Smith and new Leeds Rhinos captain Cam Smith.

Rohan Smith and new Leeds Rhinos captain Cam Smith. – Picture by Allan McKenzie/

With such a huge turnover of players it could be a concern regarding whether the players have gelled but Smith has no qualms over that, instead believing that Friday’s home opener will give the team a chance to show the new Leeds Rhinos and their “sense of belief and connection”.

“There’s nothing like game day, that’s what we all do it for. Everyone’s really excited and there’s a sense of the start of something new,” Smith confirmed.

“We expect a big crowd and we want to put on a show and really showcase our new players, but more so our new team and our real cohesion and connectedness.

“We’re not suggesting there won’t be any bumps or clunky moments, but there’s a real sense of belief and connection in the group, so we’re looking to get that started next Friday.”

He also provided a positive injury update stating that “almost everyone’s ready for round one” and that those who aren’t will likely be available very soon.

Those absentees for Leeds Rhinos will include Morgan Gannon with the youngster suffering another concussion, whilst Smith recently has offered positive updates for Sam Lisone and Mickael Goudemand.

He also spoke more widely on the pre-season including the opportunities it has provided and how it’s helped bring the team together.

“There’s also a lot of young kids that are getting experience here at training who are doing really well, as we’ve seen through the pre-season, so it’s an exciting time for the club.

“Fortunately enough we got the chance to go to Portugal and we spent five days there in a training camp in December. That was great. We’ve been to Roundhay and done the hills. We’ve done some jiu-jitsu, and some Greco wrestling.

“We’ve also done a few other things like mentally, working out some stuff around mindset and values and we’ve had different people come and speak to the players and it’s a real team behind the team.”

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