Thursday, July 25, 2024

Leeds Rhinos appoint Brad Arthur as head coach until end of Super League season after Rohan Smith exit

Must read

Leeds Rhinos have appointed Australian Brad Arthur as head coach until the end of the Super League season.

Chev Walker had been in interim charge since the Rhinos parted company with Rohan Smith on June 19.

Arthur, 50, was available after being sacked by Parramatta Eels in May after 10 years at the helm of the NRL side.

Arthur said: “I am pleased to be joining the Rhinos and can’t wait to get started. For me personally, this is a unique opportunity to grow as a coach.

“I join the club aiming to help raise standards and expectations without disrupting the cohesion that is within the group already.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Super League match between Leeds Rhinos and London Broncos

Leeds are seventh in the Super League table having claimed back-to-back victories since Smith’s departure and return to action at Warrington Wolves on Thursday, live on Sky Sports at 8pm.

Arthur confirmed that he plans to arrive from Australia in time to attend the fixture, but his first match in charge of the side will come on Saturday July 20 as the Rhinos host Hull KR at Headingley.

Arthur added: “Clearly the club want a change of direction, otherwise this opportunity would not have become available. However, we have to realise that the Rhinos place a heap of importance on this season, not just the future plans. There is a lot of footy still to be played in 2024 and the chance to challenge for the play-offs, especially with the talent we have within our squad.

“As well as making the most of that opportunity, the work we are all able to do over the next four months will help set the standards for the future and whatever lies ahead of myself and the club. I can understand it is an unusual situation but I think that it is fantastic opportunity for everyone; myself, the other coaches and the players and a good fit for everyone. I am looking forward to getting over and being at the game on Thursday night to see the boys take on Warrington.”

Smith had been in charge at Leeds since 2022 and led them to the Super League Grand Final in his first season, but failed to reach the play-offs the following year before a disappointing start to their 2024 campaign.

With 11 games remaining this season, Leeds are currently one place and two points outside of the play-off places.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Betfred Super League clash between Leeds Rhinos and Leigh Leopards.

Rhinos sporting director Ian Blease said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of a highly experienced coach in Brad Arthur for the remainder of this season.

“Having a vacancy at this time of year has its own challenges with some of our other options committed to their current clubs. Brad is keen to get started and is heading to England now, he hopes to be at Thursday’s game against Warrington Wolves to get his first look at the team.

“We have seen at times this year the potential for this squad and Brad’s challenge will be to get more consistency from this group.

“I have always said that we would not rush into long-term decisions for the good of the club. We recently announced new contracts for 15 of our brightest young stars and Brad’s appointment gives us the opportunity to focus on the current season whilst I can continue to build our long-term vision.”

Watch every match of the 2024 Super League season, including Magic Weekend, the play-offs, and men’s, women’s and wheelchair Grand Finals, live on Sky Sports or stream contract-free with NOW.

Latest article