Leeds Rhinos: Rohan Smith responds to transfer speculation linked with Hull KR half-back Rowan Milnes

Ben Olawumi
Rohan Smith Leeds Rhinos Rowan Milnes Hull KR Alamy

Leeds coach Rohan Smith has addressed transfer speculation linking the Rhinos with Hull KR half-back Rowan Milnes

Rohan Smith kept his cards close to his chest when asked about the potential of Rowan Milnes linking up with Leeds Rhinos for 2024.

Though neither departures have been officially confirmed as yet, it’s widely expected that both Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin will not form part of Smith’s plans after the end of the current season.

Sezer is inching ever closer to sealing a deal which will see him return to the NRL, while his half-back partner Austin’s next move is far from clear.

Austin has been sent out on loan to Castleford Tigers until the end of 2023, a move which the boss didn’t know about until it had happened, and a new deal doesn’t appear to be on the cards for the playmaker at Headingley.

Accordingly, Australian boss Smith is left searching for a new half-back pairing, and links to KR ace Milnes have heated up over the last few days. The pair know each other from their days at Bradford Bulls, with Milnes in the academy setup at Odsal while Smith headed up the first team.

Rowan Milnes to Leeds Rhinos?

On those rumours surrounding his namesake, the Leeds chief said: “He’s got a good name to start with, I’m not sure on the spelling there!

“I’ve not spoken to Rowan other than saying hello in a pre-season game, and I said congratulations to him too after they beat us the other week.

“He’s a player I’ve known for a long time, he was in the Bradford system when I was there. He’s a good player, and we’re in the market for halves.

“We’re talking to people throughout the world of rugby league.”

Movement in the Super League halves

Playmakers are amongst the most sought after players in the game, which is why we’ve seen so much movement in those positions for 2024.

Earlier this week, KR themselves announced that Tyrone May would be making the move to East Hull from Catalans Dragons next year.

Taking up one of their quota spots, and playing in the same position, Robins chief Willie Peters confirmed to Love Rugby League the chances of off-contract Brad Schneider remaining at Craven Park were incredibly slim.

Milnes remains under contract until 2025, so if the Rhinos want a cheaper option, it could even be Schneider who we see make the move across Yorkshire to Headingley.

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