Sky Sports’ Jon Wilkin hints at Paul Rowley update as Leeds Rhinos speculation persists

Jon Wilkin Sky Sports Alamy

Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin - Alamy

Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin has suggested that he has heard rumours Paul Rowley is ‘out of the race’ to become the next Leeds Rhinos head coach.

Speaking on the broadcaster’s The Verdict, Wilkin was asked about who he felt could be the next man in the hot seat at AMT Headingley after Rohan Smith’s departure from Leeds last month.

Rowley has been heavily linked with the role, but remains under contract at Salford Red Devils – who have tabled a new long-term deal to Rowley in a bid to convince him to commit his future to the club.

And Wilkin appeared to suggest that he has heard suggestions Rowley is now out of the running.

He said: “As broadcasters, we’re obsessed with finding out who the next coach is. There’s strong rumours that Paul Rowley fancied it and is out of the race now. He’s settled at Salford and wants to complete the project or what he’s been doing. I’m not sure if that’s accurate or not.”

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Wilkin threw his support behind the credentials of Justin Holbrook – though there are no suggestions he would be open to a return to England after just landing a role as the Australian assistant coach. He rejected the opportunity to take over at Warrington last year.

Wilkin said: “He coached me at St Helens and I’ll tell you now, an exquisite coach, one of the best, and could be an amazing appointment for Leeds Rhinos if they got him in. He could do everything they wanted him to.”

He then suggested two previously unheard of names for the role, admitting: “Maybe Dean Young.. I’m going to throw a few curveballs in. Chad Randall – maybe Danny McGuire, let’s get Danny McGuire back, what about that.”

As things stand though, nobody appears to be any closer to knowing who the next coach of Leeds is.

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