Ian Blease talks about Rohan Smith’s future at Leeds Rhinos and potential Paul Rowley speculation

NEW Leeds Rhinos sporting director, Ian Blease, has confirmed his support behind head coach Rohan Smith following his appointment to the West Yorkshire club.

Blease’s move from Salford Red Devils was confirmed yesterday, with the Rhinos still outside the top six play-offs having had an inconsistent start to the 2024 Super League season.

However, Blease has revealed that he will be supporting Smith in what he described as “a tough role” with the former set to take the reins on Monday.

“I think it is unfair for me to comment yet because I’ve not officially started as an employee until next Monday,” Blease said.

“Rohan is doing a job, head coach is a tough job and he is doing it to the best of his ability, so I will support him.”

Of course, Salford boss Paul Rowley was linked with the Leeds head coaching job earlier in the season, and, with Blease’s appointment, that speculation is only going to grow.

Blease, however, has refused to draw on any speculation linking Rowley with the Rhinos job.

“That’s for you guys in the media to write,” Blease responded. “I have a great relationship with Paul, he is a great coach and so was Ian Watson before him.

“I have great relationships with people I work with and I will always keep those relationships healthy, but it’s not about speculation today.

“It is about getting a feel for the club. It would be unfair, I don’t want to put any pressure on anybody.”

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