Rohan Smith explains why Leeds will not have a full-time captain in 2023

Drew Darbyshire
Rohan Smith Leeds Rhinos SWpix

Leeds coach Rohan Smith has confirmed that the Rhinos will not appoint a full-time captain ahead of the 2023 season.

Hooker Kruise Leeming was the club’s skipper this time last year, with winger Ash Handley being vice-captain.

But with a number of players finishing 2022 sharing the role, Smith has taken the decision to not have a full-time captain for 2023.

“We will not have one specific captain just as we finished last season,” Smith said.

“In the final months of the season, Kruise Leeming, Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki and Ash Handley were each matchday captain at various times.

“We are in a fortunate position to have a young and talented squad with many players who possess some of the typical characteristics you would look for in a captain.

“We have experienced players in key positions within the team who show leadership every time they step onto the field. The challenge is to develop that leadership across the squad.

“I have always spoken about our team collectively reaching our potential rather than individuals. Likewise, just looking at our club’s history, there have been many examples of great leaders within Leeds teams have who have not been captain. We are looking to develop both for the sake of the team; not just this season but for the years ahead.”

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The Australian added: “I have been proud this off-season to see how our players have supported each other whether that is experienced guys mentoring young players or the guys who have been around the first team squad for a couple of years helping our first years.

“We have also been able to share the workload of the captaincy across the squad during the close season. We want everyone to see themselves as a leader to someone and to focus on each individual game. No one person is more important than another.”

Leeds travel to Warrington in the Super League opener on Thursday, February 16.

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