Leeds Rhinos set for coaching reshuffle after multiple departures

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Rohan Smith has already set his sights on preparations for 2023 after announcements and confirmations this week that a trio of the coaching staff will either leave the club or take up new roles within the club.

The first to be announced was Jason Davidson, who is currently the Rhinos’ team manager.

Davidson joined the club in 2006, alongside newly confirmed Hull FC boss, Tony Smith and has worked with every head coach since winning seven Grand Finals, two World Club Challenges, two League Leaders shields, and three Challenge Cups.

The next step in Davidson’s career is yet to be confirmed, but there is no doubt that his commitment to the club and the coaching team was integral to Leeds’ success over the last two decades.

The next coaching team member to leave is Rhinos and Yorkshire legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

‘Jonesy’ made his debut for the Rhinos in 1999, and after a stellar career glittered with every domestic trophy possible, he took on the role of assistant coach at the start of 2020.

Since then he has helped the Rhinos get to two consecutive semi-finals as well as a Challenge Cup victory in 2020.

He also was made interim coach mid-way through this season after the departure of Richard Agar, being in charge for six games, and being victorious twice.

Jones-Buchanan will take up a new role at the club, being the first-ever head of culture, diversity and inclusivity.

The third coaching staff member to leave the team will be Sean Long.

Long joined the club at the start of 2021 and has helped the team get to two consecutive semi-final playoffs.

Long confirmed to Rugby League Live that he would be exiting the club at the end of the season, saying “As the season ends, I’ve decided to resign from my position with Leeds Rhinos in search of a new challenge within the game.”

It is clear that Rohan Smith wants to bring in his own coaching team, perhaps people that he is familiar with from his time in Australia.

It is possible that we could see Smith want to bring over his coaching team from the Norths Devils, Kevin Neighbour and Ben King.

The trio won the competition in 2021 and worked together for four and a half seasons so understand each other well and have proven to be a successful team.

However, Smith could look in the UK for his right-hand men.

There have been many rumours about Danny McGuire returning to coach his hometown club after a successful stint at Hull KR that included a period of interim head coach.

Whatever Rohan Smith decides to do, he will have the backing of all the Leeds faithful after such an incredible turn around in such a short space of time.

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