Tom Holroyd 10-match ban “a harsh penalty” says Leeds coach

Drew Darbyshire
Tom Holroyd England Knights SWpix.jpg

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Leeds coach Rohan Smith believes the 10-match ban given to Tom Holroyd is a harsh penalty, but the Rhinos will support the young prop through his time out.

The 21-year-old has been given a 10-match ban by an independent operational rules tribunal for a Grade F punching charge.

He was referred following his dismissal against Newcastle Thunder whilst playing for Bradford on dual-registration in the Championship.

Tom Holroyd, an England Knights international, will now be sidelined until August. Smith confirmed the Rhinos will not be appealing Holroyd’s suspension.

Leeds coach Rohan Smith said: “It is a harsh penalty for a young guy. It is difficult for Tom to take on the back of being injured for 10 or 12 games to start the season.

“It is a tough lesson for him but we will be working with Tom to support him through the situation and bringing him back the best we can.

“Its a significant penalty, that’s for sure. The RFL have stated that they want to eradicate that type of behaviour. The incident escalated and players ran into the situation and it became a bit of a defence situation then but it was an unsavoury incident.”

Leeds coach on Austin, Thompson and Hardaker futures

Leeds half-back Blake Austin and prop Bodene Thompson are out of contract at the end of the situation. New Zealander Thompson is set to return home with his family.

Smith said: “To my knowledge Blake is contracted (this year) and here.

“It is up to Bodene to explore his options; but I won’t be discussing what we are doing with players in this forum.”

Meanwhile, Zak Hardaker returned to Leeds in April on a deal until the end of the season from Wigan.

Smith remained coy on whether the Rhinos will look to extend Hardaker’s time at Headingley beyond this season.

He added: “It is a week to week thing for Zak at the moment. He needs to get some consistency with playing. He’s only played two games in the last six or eight weeks so he needs to get a bit of rhythm in his performance. We’ll chat when the time is right.”

PODCAST: Eorl Crabtree dissects Challenge Cup final & predicts successful Huddersfield future