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Who is Brad Arthur? Everything you need to know about favourite for Leeds Rhinos job

Leeds Rhinos

The Leeds Rhinos are currently scouring the globe in their search for a new head coach. Rohan Smith left the club yesterday after an inconsistent time in charge of the Rhinos, leaving the club where he found them two years ago, outside of the top six in the Super League. Brad Arthur is reportedly in the running for the position.

Speaking in a press conference earlier today, Leeds’ sporting director, Ian Blease, confirmed that the club would consider an appointment from overseas, which opens up the talent pool to coaches with experience in the NRL.

One name who has been linked with the Rhinos is former Parramatta Eels head coach, Arthur. Arthur left the Eels after a long and successful association earlier this season and has recently expressed an interest in coaching in the Super League.

With that in mind, we take a look at everything you know about one of the current favourites for the job. Leeds fans will be desperate for the club to make the right appointment after years in the wilderness.

Who is Brad Arthur?

Brad Arthur

Credit: Imago Images

50-year-old Arthur has had a long and successful coaching career in the NRL. He first took the reigns at Parramatta in 2012, where he spent six games in interim charge of the club, before returning to the hot seat in 2014 as the club’s permanent head coach.

Arthur’s route into coaching was not the typical one, however, and he had to take a more circuitous path to reach the top level. Brad Arthur never played top-flight Rugby League in Australia. He was a member of the Parramatta and Penrith Panthers academy set ups but left without making a first-team appearance.

Instead, he moved to the Batemans Bay Tigers, where he was made captain-coach at the age of 23, where he won four premierships and six grand finals. His work impressed the Melbourne Storm so much that he joined the club as a development coach in 2007. before eventually being promoted to assistant coach under Stephen Kearney in 2010.

A move to the Eels followed in 2011, following Kearney’s appointment as head coach at Parramatta. However, when results did not improve, Kearney left the club in 2012, with Arthur stepping up to take charge for six games.

After a brief spell as assistant coach at Manly Sea Eagles at the beginning of the 2013 season, Arthur returned to Parramatta as permanent head coach following the failed tenure of Ricky Stuart. When he took over the club, the Eels were perennial wooden spoon contenders and regularly scrapped it out at the bottom of the NRL table.

Arthur was instrumental in turning their fortunes around. In 11 seasons with the club he guided them to the end of season playoffs 5 times. The Eels made the 2022 Grand Final, where they lost out to the Penrith Panthers.

Throughout his time with the club, Arthur achieved a positive win percentage, winning 52% of his games at the club. His best season in terms of win percentage came in 2021, with the Eels winning 68% of their games on their way to the semi-finals.

Arthur is a well-respected coach in Australia and keen to work in the UK. He seems to be a perfect fit for the Rhinos.

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