Ian Blease responds to Paul Rowley question as Leeds Rhinos contract situation throws potential spanner in works in head coach timescale

LEEDS RHINOS’ new sporting director, Ian Blease, has commented on whether Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley could still yet be appointed as Leeds head coach from 2025.

Former Parramatta Eels number one Brad Arthur has taken the reins at Headingley until the end of the 2024 Super League season, seemingly paving the way for other candidates to be brought into the conversation for next season.

One of those is, of course, Rowley, who struck up a great relationship with Blease when the latter was at Salford.

However, Blease has refused to comment on the possibility that Rowley could be appointed from next season, referencing his current contract with the Red Devils.

“Paul is under contract so it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on that,” Blease said.

“I can’t say if he is an option or not.”

In terms of a head coach for 2025, what sort of timescale is Blease and the Rhinos working towards?

“There is a process I’m going through behind the scenes and Brad will be a part of that.

“Candidates will still be part of the process and it’s about now with Brad and how well he does now and I will be working in the background.”

Blease did hint that the contract situations at Headingley could affect the long-term decision.

“There is no timescale in mind but I’m aware of the contractual situations with the club. I’ve always said I will do what’s right so I haven’t got a specific time but these things can take time as I want to get it right.

“As soon as possible, I’m trying to work as quickly as I can on it but there are a lot of hoops to jump through.”

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