Jamie Peacock: Leeds rebuild could take 10 years

Drew Darbyshire
Jamie Peacock Leeds Rhinos SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Leeds legend Jamie Peacock says the rebuilding phase for the Rhinos could take up to a decade and wants to see new coach Rohan Smith given time.

The Rhinos are heading into a new era under new boss Smith. The Australian has taken over the coaching reins at Headingley until at least the end of the 2025 season.

Leeds have won one major trophy (Challenge Cup 2020) since the last of the golden generation left the club at the end of 2017.

Former Man of Steel Peacock, who won six Super League titles and two Challenge Cups with the Rhinos, says the rebuild could take up to a decade.

“I think six years is probably right in terms of that,” he told Super League’s Out Of Your League Podcast when asked about the Rhinos’ rebuild.

“Building culture takes time. It is not a one week, two week or one month thing. In three months you can start to do it but you’ve got to get your recruitment right. That can take a salary cap sport one, two or three years to get right.

“I think they are on the right path and I think the younger players they’ve got coming through are good.

“I want to see what Rohan brings to the side, he has been at lots of different clubs. He is bringing his own take on it and he needs time to give his stamp on the club. Hopefully he can begin to build and develop a culture.

“Look at Saints, it took them 10 years to get back to where they wanted to be. I think it is a 10-year timespan to replace a golden generation.”

Mark Flanagan backs up Jamie Peacock points on building phase

Former Wigan, Wests Tigers, St Helens and Salford forward Mark Flanagan agreed with Peacock’s points about it potentially taking a decade for Leeds to bear the fruits of their rebuild.

Flanagan said: “I signed at Saints in 2012. I could see they were coming out of a different era and into a new one.

“By the time we got to 2014 and won the comp, you could see (Jonny) Lomax, (Mark) Percival, (Tommy) Makinson, (Alex) Walmsley – all these guys coming through that you could say there is kind of a little dynasty that has been created.

“Now in 2022 – eight years later – probably half the team that is competing and winning everything now were there back in 2014.

“The seeds were laid eight or 10 years ago and they are seeing the success now.”

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