Ian Blease addresses Paul Rowley and Brad Arthur links to Leeds Rhinos

Aaron Bower
Paul Rowley, Ian Blease

Ian Blease has admitted has insinuated he would be interested in speaking with Paul Rowley about becoming the next Leeds Rhinos head coach, saying that ‘talented coaches’ appeal to him and that Rowley fits that bracket – as does former Parramatta head coach Brad Arthur.

Rowley’s name is at the forefront of the conversation when it comes to the man who will succeed Rohan Smith at AMT Headingley, which is perhaps inevitable given the links between himself and Blease.

The new Leeds sporting director was quizzed on that prospect in a media conference on Thursday and while Blease insisted the process will remain confidential, Rowley and Arthur are the calibre of coach the club would be interested in.

When asked specifically about Rowley, Blease said: “I think like Gary (Hetherington) said, we’re big on confidentiality in this process.

“There’s no timescale on it, it’s only just started. Talented coaches interest me and Paul would be one of them, obviously. Nothing has happened yet, we’re concentrating on tomorrow and that’s what the boys are doing. I’ve got no preconceived ideas. Applications are coming in as we speak but I want to make sure we do the job properly.”

Arthur has reportedly expressed an interest in a Super League role after leaving the Eels, with many again tipping him as a serious contender to take charge at Headingley.

When pushed about whether or not Arthur would be a coach of interest, Blease said: “Yes. But again, we’ve not gone to that stage yet. I wish I could share more with you but I’m not at that stage yet, we need to focus on tomorrow’s game.”

When pushed if he was the type of coach who would interest him, Blease replied: “Yeah, I could probably envisage that.”

Blease stressed that he is not pushing any sort of timeframe on the coaching appointment – and has not ruled out an interim in the shorter term.


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