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The 5 Leeds Rhinos players who will benefit most from Brad Arthur’s arrival

The 5 Leeds Rhinos players who will benefit most from Brad Arthur’s arrival

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the appointment of new head coach Brad Arthur, who will succeed Rohan Smith at Headingley, having signed a short-term deal until the end of the season.

Arthur inherits a Rhinos side that sits 7th in the Super League table, two points behind the top six and, consequently, the playoff places.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we think if the Australian is to succeed in Leeds he needs to turn around the fortunes of this quintet…

Matt Frawley

Matt Frawley in action for Leeds Rhinos in 2024

Frawley arrived at Headingley ahead of 2024 from Canberra Raiders, signing a two-year deal with the Rhinos.

His last stint in the Super League, in 2019 with Huddersfield Giants, wasn’t exactly memorable. And so far, neither has his time with Leeds.

The midfielder never quite seemed to fit into the team under former boss Smith, but Arthur’s style is a little more structured, and we think that could really help him.

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Paulo Momirovski

Paul Momirovski is back for the Rhinos

Momirovski had made just 38 NRL appearances when he joined Leeds this season, and his 28th birthday will be later this month.

This move felt like a chance for him to really show what he could do, and that hasn’t happened with enough regularity so far.

Given the time they’ve spent in the NRL, Arthur will arrive with a better understanding of him than Smith ever did, you’d wager. Something needs to click for the centre.

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Harry New Man

Harry Newman in action for Leeds Rhinos in 2024

“Transforming” is perhaps the wrong word for Newman, because we’ve seen at times just how good he can be. That’s been the case at points this season, even despite some woeful displays from the Rhinos.

But at the same time, we’ve also seen some really poor performances from him on an individual level. Ones where you’d be forgiven for forgetting he was even on the pitch, almost as if he was shying away from trying to make something happen.

Arthur comes in and simply needs to bring consistency to the centre-back game. Get him to excel each week and Leeds will be on the right track.

Justin Sangare

Sangare is not alone in this, but there have been many times this season when he has been miles away from where his teammates needed him to be.

The 26-year-old is at that stage in his career where he needs to start stepping up, being responsible and taking responsibility for leading his team on the pitch with powerful runs and, equally, helping to keep the opposition at bay by going the other way.

Neither of these traits have been prominent enough in the prop’s play this season and realistically they haven’t been since he arrived at Headingley last year. We suspect he’ll be someone Arthur will want a big improvement from.

QUIZ: Can you name every Leeds Rhinos manager in the Super League era?

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith in action for Leeds Rhinos in 2024

It almost seems as though the weight of responsibility that comes with the Rhinos captaincy was too much for Smith to bear, at least on the field.

We believe he has been an exemplary leader, particularly in the way he addressed the television cameras just hours after the passing of rugby league icon and Rhinos legend Rob Burrow.

But on the pitch, it is as if the captaincy has forced Smith to take a step back. When Leeds attack and the ball is in his hands, the game tends to slow down. Again, given Arthur’s more structured playbook, he could well benefit from this and return to his best.

MORE ABOUT ARTHUR’S APPOINTMENT

Arthur’s first words after confirming ‘unusual’ Leeds Rhinos appointment

Ian Blease’s three-word response to Paul Rowley question as Leeds Rhinos speculation persists

The four key issues Arthur must prioritise following Leeds Rhinos appointment, including signing a key man

Everything Blease had to say about Arthur, the potential for a longer stay in 2025 and Leeds’ recruitment plans