Leeds are planning to make their fixture against New Zealand a tribute to their departing players at Headingley Stadium in October.
Rohan Smith says he will use the game as a fitting farewell to those leaving the Super League club upon the expiry of their contracts at the end of 2022.
Brad Dwyer, Muizz Mustapha, Bodene Thompson, Liam Sutcliffe and Tom Briscoe are set to leave the Rhinos at the end of 2022.
Hooker Dwyer, 29, did not feature in Leeds’ play-offs campaign and will join Hull for 2023 alongside team-mate Liam Sutcliffe.
Leeds host New Zealand as part of their World Cup preparations on October 8 at Headingley Stadium. Michael Maguire’s Kiwis then open their campaign against Lebanon in Warrington eight days later.
Rohan Smith on New Zealand test
“They’ll have a break this week then we’ll get going later in the week and refresh,” said Smith.
“We’ll use that as an opportunity to farewell some players and treat it as a fitting send off for players who have given a great service to our club.
“It will be a fitting way to say thank you to players that have served the club so well.”
What a ride … one that won’t be forgotten 🏉 From fighting for relegation mid season to the grand final 🏟
— Brad dwyer (@DwyerBrad) September 26, 2022
Smith proud of Leeds’ season
Leeds fell to a 24-12 defeat to St Helens at Old Trafford in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday. Kristian Woolf’s Saints made history by becoming the first-ever team to win four titles in a row.
“You can reflect on the game itself and we’ll all have what ifs. But at some stage when the time is right as individuals, they’ve got to reflect on the journey that was,” Smith said.
“We’ll never go on a journey like that again. Every year is different. While adversity was front and centre for so long, it’s the best way to get to know people.
“It’s still early, but we’ll reflect at some stage and each individual will be doing that in their own time.”