Paul Rowley update as Leeds Rhinos begin search for Rohan Smith replacement

Aaron Bower
Paul Rowley

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley

Salford Red Devils have yet to be contacted over a possible approach for head coach Paul Rowley from Leeds Rhinos – and remain relaxed about the prospect of any move from their Super League rivals.

With Smith having left the Rhinos on Wednesday after a disappointing run of results, it has led to inevitable speculation that Rowley would be high on Leeds’ agenda.

The links between Rowley and the Rhinos’ new sporting director, Ian Blease, have also heightened that speculation further over the prospect of Blease returning to Salford and approaching his former club over a move to take Rowley.

However, Love Rugby League has been informed that as of Wednesday evening, Salford have not yet been contacted by any representatives of Leeds, nor has there been an approach to Rowley. That situation could clearly change in the days ahead but as the Rhinos begin to piece a succession plan together, no approach has been made to Rowley yet.

He still has 18 months left on his existing contract at the Red Devils and, as Love Rugby League revealed earlier this month, a new long-term deal has been tabled which could give Rowley both greater autonomy at Salford and allow him to transition into a board-level role as a potential director of rugby at a time of his choosing.

It is also understood it would require a sizeable fee to prise Rowley away from Salford.

Love Rugby League has also been told the Rhinos’ hierarchy – or at least one member of it – may yet head Down Under in the upcoming international break to speak to candidates.

Brad Arthur is inevitably at the top of many Leeds supporters’ wish-list after he reportedly expressed an interest in taking on a Super League role, while speculation is also rife over a number of other Australian candidates.

On this side of the world, Rowley is seen as the ideal candidate if they were to go down the domestic route, but the Red Devils are relaxed over the situation and as of yet, they have not been formally approached for their head coach’s services.

Blease is expected to be quizzed in great detail about the matter on Thursday when he meets the media at AMT Headingley.


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