Leeds Rhinos chief Ian Blease provides clarity on head coach search, addresses Brad Arthur links

Drew Darbyshire
Leeds Rhinos sporting director Ian Blease Alamy

Leeds Rhinos sporting director Ian Blease

Leeds Rhinos sporting director Ian Blease insists the club have yet to finalise their next head coach amid reports of Brad Arthur taking over for the rest of the season.

Reports emerged from Down Under on Saturday suggesting that former Parramatta Eels boss Arthur will take up the role at AMT Headingley on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

And on Saturday afternoon, the Rhinos edged past London Broncos 17-16 in golden point thanks to a match-winning drop goal from Brodie Croft.

Blease attended the post-match press conference alongside interim coach Chev Walker, with the Rhinos’ recently appointed sporting director answering questions surrounding their vacant head coaching position, particularly the recent links to Arthur.

“The purpose why I’m here is for a bit of clarity on that,” Blease said in the post-match press conference.

“I’ve had three phases in my mind: phase one was meeting, interviewing and speaking to the candidates that had applied which went pretty well over the last week or so. Stage two is now firming up some options that we can look at, but there’s nothing that has officially been done yet so that will carry on into next week now.

“Obviously it’s a really important decision for us as a club and we want to make sure we get that right, so there’s still things we need to discuss and do.

“We’ve got Rob’s (Burrow) funeral tomorrow obviously, so nothing will be announced by the club until next week.”

LOWDOWN: What Leeds Rhinos fans can expect from Brad Arthur if he takes the Headingley hot seat, including style and tactics

Blease was asked about whether they are in advanced talks with Arthur, to which he replied: “Him and a number of candidates have been discussed and interviewed last week by me, so I’ll be making those choices next week.”

Asked if he could imagine it being a role until the end of the season, Blease replied: “That’s an option, one of our options.”

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