Leeds Rhinos announce new head coach

Leeds Rhinos have appointed former Bradford Bulls boss Rohan Smith as their new head coach on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The club have been looking for a new coach since Richard Agar’s resignation last month and Australian Smith will join the Rhinos from reigning Queensland Cup champions Norths Devils.

He has worked on the coaching staff of a host of NRL clubs, and is the son of former Hull and Bradford coach Brian Smith and the nephew of Hull KR boss Tony Smith.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who has been interim head coach for the past four matches, will remain in charge for at least the next two games against Toulouse Olympique and Hull KR while Smith secures the necessary paperwork to move back to the UK.

“I am excited about the opportunity and really looking forward to getting back to the UK,” said the new Leeds coach.

“The opportunity to be a head coach in Super League is something I have always aspired to do and especially with a club with such a rich history in the game and a proud tradition of developing talent through their Academy.”

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured one of the most exciting young coaches in the game at present.

“Rohan Smith is highly regarded both here in England and Australia and is someone who is passionate about coaching and most importantly for us, excited about developing our players and a winning culture and environment.

“I would like to thank Norths Devils and Brisbane Broncos in allowing us to speak to Rohan about our vacancy.

“I know both clubs rate Rohan extremely highly, not just because of his coaching philosophies, but how he has transferred that into a winning team at the Devils.

“At the outset I stated this was one of the most important appointments in our club’s history. I would like to thank all our supporters and partners for their patience during this period but it was vital that we spoke to all interested parties both here in England and overseas.

“Through that process, Rohan Smith was an outstanding candidate for the role and I am personally delighted to have agreed the deal to bring him to Headingley.”