No “friction” in Leeds Rhinos camp insists new boss Rohan Smith

Australian coach looking for his first win since taking charge and he maintains players are buying into his ideas ahead of Friday’s game against fellow strugglers Wakefield Trinity.

No "friction" in Leeds Rhinos camp insists boss Rohan Smith
Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith

New boss Rohan Smith says there’s no “friction” in the Leeds camp ahead of Friday’s vital fixture against Wakefield.

The Australian is looking for his first win after his opening game ended in Sunday’s dismal 23-8 loss at fellow strugglers Salford. That left fans worried the former Super League champions could get further dragged into a relegation battle.

But asked if players are buying into his ideas, Smith insisted: “Yes, certainly. The energy, focus and execution at training has been a good standard. I’m still getting to know individuals about how they go about things but it’s been quality. I haven’t had any friction. It’s just been steady progress through practice – now it’s about the battlefield Friday.”

Leeds’ third coach of the season, after Richard Agar and Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Smith has been keen to get in as much work as possible on the training field since arriving from Australia.

He said: “They are probably understanding the way I speak and do things clearer with each day. We’re looking forward to seeing some evidence of that.”

He is not envisaging many team alterations from the Salford defeat. Smith added: “There’s a few people to check through but there won’t be a lot of changes to last week’s team. There’s a possibility of positional changes. We have a lot of flexibility and versatility around our spine players and (Zak) Hardaker being able to play multiple positions. We’re still working through the final make-up of that but the personnel won’t be too much different.”

Prop Tom Holroyd is in the 21-man squad for the first time since suffering a serious ankle injury in pre-season but Smith said he is likely to continue his comeback with Bradford Bulls this weekend.

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