Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith hails 'important' business as Harry Newman signs new deal

Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith has expressed his delight after fending off NRL interest to tie down star centre Harry Newman until at least the end of 2026.

The Rhinos academy product has agreed a new two-year contract to end speculation about his future before the new Super League season gets under way next week.

Newman is in the final year of his current deal and has previously expressed his desire to play in Australia.

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However, the England international has opted to extend his stay at Headingley to hand Leeds a major boost ahead of the big kick-off.

"I am pleased for Harry that he has got his future secured," said Smith.

"Harry has worked hard on his game in recent years and we were all pleased for him when he got the call up to play for England as I know that meant a lot to him.

"He has set a benchmark for himself now and we feel we can take his performances to another level and fulfil his undoubted potential.

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"He has overcome a lot of adversity in his career so far but he is passionate about playing for Leeds Rhinos.

Harry Newman is staying at Headingley. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Harry Newman is staying at Headingley. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Harry Newman is staying at Headingley. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

"It is important that we retain great English talent, both for Leeds and for Super League, as I know there was interest from the NRL to sign Harry."

Newman made his Super League debut in 2017 and has gone on to score 25 tries in 75 games for his boyhood club.

The injury-hit outside back is fresh from his most productive season since 2019, adding to his 17 appearances for the Rhinos with a breakthrough series at international level.

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Newman is optimistic about achieving his ambitions at Headingley after ending his first full pre-season in three years with a new contract.

The centre is benefitting from a rare full pre-season. (Photo: John Clifton/SWpix.com)The centre is benefitting from a rare full pre-season. (Photo: John Clifton/SWpix.com)
The centre is benefitting from a rare full pre-season. (Photo: John Clifton/SWpix.com)

"I am really pleased to have agreed a new deal with the club and sorted my future out," he said.

"Rohan and I were both keen to get things settled before the season started and it is great that I don’t have to keep answering questions about my contract now we are about to kick off the year.

"Having come through the academy system at the Rhinos, this is my club and I am very excited about the direction we are heading in this season.

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"I missed out on the Challenge Cup win in 2020 and the Grand Final in 2022 through injury and I am determined to be part of a successful period here at AMT Headingley in the coming years."

Newman joins a core of homegrown players that are committed to the club long term.

Smith expects the 23-year-old to flourish in the environment he has created at Headingley.

"Our squad is full of young players with their best years ahead of them and the security, cohesion and camaraderie of a group growing together is something we want to nurture," added Smith.

"We have only seen the start of what Harry can do. The consistency and frequency of his top performances are what we can look forward to seeing in the years ahead.”

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