Ian Blease’s three-word answer to Paul Rowley question as Leeds Rhinos speculation lingers

Aaron Bower
Ian Blease Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Leeds Rhinos sporting director Ian Blease

Leeds chief Ian Blease declined to comment on the potential arrival of Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley at Headingley in 2025, with the Rhinos now having appointed Brad Arthur on a short-term deal.

Australian Arthur has been drafted in by Leeds to succeed Rohan Smith, who departed midway through last month.

The 50-year-old, who spent over in a decade in charge of NRL outfit Parramatta Eels, though has only penned a contract until the end of the current campaign, given the task of steadying a very rocky ship.

And with Rowley strongly linked to the Rhinos’ vacancy before Arthur’s appointment was confirmed, the short-term nature of that deal has done little to dispel the belief that the Salford coach could make the move to Headingley after all – come 2025.

Sporting Director Blease’s reasoning for the short-term deal was that Leeds do not wish to ‘rush into long-term decisions for the good of the club’.

READ NEXT: Brian Carney delivers Super League Las Vegas verdict with long-term planning emphasised

Blease himself was the man that appointed Rowley at Salford, spending two-and-a-half years working alongside the ex-Leigh & Toronto Wolfpack boss.

The Rhinos’ Sporting Director, who himself only made the move to Headingley last month, has openly admitted how much of a fan of Rowley he is.

But with Arthur now in position at the Leeds helm until the end of the season, and Rowley still officially under contract with the Red Devils until the end of the 2025 season, Blease has declined to comment on where his former colleague’s future may lie.

He said: “Paul’s under contract. He’s under contract.”

When asked if Rowley was still under consideration to take charge in 2025, Blease then reiterated: “It wouldn’t be right for me to say something if a coach is under contract, so I wouldn’t comment on that. I can’t say that.”


Arthur’s first words after Leeds Rhinos ‘unusual’ appointment confirmed

The lowdown: what Leeds Rhinos can expect from new coach including style, tactics

The four key issues Arthur must prioritise after Leeds Rhinos appointment, including tying down key man

Everything Blease said on Arthur, the potential of a longer stay in 2025 and Leeds’ recruitment plans