Rohan Smith explains why Cameron Smith wasn’t given the Leeds Rhinos captaincy last year

LEEDS RHINOS head coach Rohan Smith took the unprecedented step of not appointing a captain for his side for the 2023 Super League season.

Throughout the year, that decision seemed to complicate matters with no clear direction on the field.

However, going into the 2024 Super League season, Smith has appointed lifelong Rhinos player Cameron Smith as skipper.

The 25-year-old has made over 100 appearances for the Rhinos since debuting back in 2016 and now he has been tasked with leading Leeds around the field.

But, Rohan Smith has revealed why his namesake Cameron was not given the captaincy last year.

“I didn’t think Cameron was ready for that role last year. It wasn’t fair to him to be thrown into that situation with a lot of turbulence,” Smith told League Express.

“We went into last season with eight or nine top paid players coming off-contract which doesn’t always lend itself to cohesion or flow.

“So Cameron experienced a lot last year. He rose through some of that adversity and had his best season in Super League.

“He is a great developer of young people, he is a leader himself but he embraces and encourages the leadership of others to come through as well.”

Rohan Smith also praised Ash Handley for the way he has stepped up in terms of leadership as well.

“He is a standout character of that role based on how he presented himself in that position. Ash Handley has also stepped forward there and I think it’s important we have a Leeds nucleus in a Leeds team.”

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