John Kear outlines three potential candidates for Leeds Rhinos job and verdict on Gary Hetherington

FORMER Super League and Championship head coach John Kear has outlined three potential candidates to become Leeds Rhinos’ next boss.

The Rhinos have been hunting for a new head coach since Rohan Smith was dismissed last week with names such as Paul Rowley, Brad Arthur and Jason Demetriou being linked with the move.

Kear also touched upon the Leeds vacancy and who he would look for, hinting that Rowley would be “everybody’s natural thought” given his history with the Rhinos’ new sporting director, Ian Blease.

“It’s a really difficult one because Leeds is a stellar brand. It’s a blue ribbon job,” Kear told League Express.

“Obviously with Ian Blease now at Leeds, everybody’s natural thought turns to Paul Rowley because they’ve got such a good working relationship and they would be very familiar with one another.

“But, having said that, Salford would have something to say about that and rightly so.”

Kear also touched upon two out-of-work Australian head coaches.

“There are two really good contenders Down Under. Brad Arthur is one. I know it hasn’t been a good year at Parramatta but he’s had ten years in the job so he must have been doing something right.

“He got them to a Grand Final and they’ve frequently been in the play-offs. He would be one that Ian Blease would look at.

“And I think Jason Demetriou would be as well. He’s had a lot of success in the Queensland Cup, worked as an assistant to Wayne Bennett and he had a great first year at Souths. I know this year wasn’t good either.

“The one plus point he has got over Brad Arthur is he knows the British game. He was my captain at Wakefield and he was great to coach.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better player to have been your captain. He had his own ideas which you like but when we agreed on something, he was fully supportive of it and bought into it.

“He led where it mattered on the pitch so he’s a great leader is Jason. They will be doing a very thorough review at the Rhinos as you’d expect from a Gary Hetherington-run club and I’m sure they will come up with their job description.

“I think they will actively seek someone rather than put it to tender.”

Kear also gave his verdict on Hetherington himself.

“I went to school with Gary. He was great and he was a good rugby league player. He is an entrepreneur and set Sheffield up.

“He took a massive chance on setting them up but it paid off for him. He’s since gone from strength to strength.

“I’m full of admiration and like for Gary. I like him a lot and I’ve always got on with him.”

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