Leeds Rhinos have announced the appointment of Rohan Smith as new head coach at Emerald Headingley as the ex-Bradford Bulls coach (70% win rate over 20 games in 2016-7) and son of Rugby League coaching legend Brian Smith.
The forty-year-old will start immediately and has been given a three-and-a-half-year contract which will take him through until at least the end of the 2025 season.
It is understood that interim coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan will remain in charge for Friday’s game against Toulouse and for the round eleven match against Hull KR.
Of interest to Rhinos fans will be the news that ex-Leeds top man Tony Smith announced just a couple of hours ago that he would be leaving his current club Hull KR at the end of this season and speculation is rife that this is to allow him to join his nephew at Headingley, where he himself experienced much success between 2004 and 2007.
Rohan will join the Rhinos from reigning Queensland Cup Champions Norths Devils but he has a vast experience in the NRL behind him having taken a number of roles at various clubs including the New Zealand Warriors, London Broncos, Bradford Bulls, Sydney Roosters, Penrith Panthers, Gold Coast Titans and as head of the Tongan national squad.
He brings a terrific reputation to Headingley, although some may question his experience as a head coach at the top level. A partnership with Tony Smith from the start of the 2023 season will settle some nerves should that be announced over the coming days.
A new dynasty at Headingley has begun.