Leeds Rhinos head coach Brad Arthur's first words after taking over until end of Super League season

Brad Arthur is ready to hit the ground running at Leeds Rhinos following his appointment as head coach until the end of the 2024 Super League season.

The Australian will join the club with immediate effect and work alongside current assistant coaches Chev Walker and Scott Grix, who have been in interim charge since Rohan Smith's departure last month.

Arthur recently left Parramatta Eels after 10 years at the helm, a tenure that featured a run to the 2022 NRL Grand Final.

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The 50-year-old will be in attendance at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday night when Leeds take on Warrington Wolves.

"I am pleased to be joining the Rhinos and can’t wait to get started," said Arthur.

"For me personally, this is a unique opportunity to grow as a coach. I join the club aiming to help raise standards and expectations without disrupting the cohesion that is within the group already.

"Clearly the club want a change of direction, otherwise this opportunity would not have become available. However, we have to realise that the Rhinos place a heap of importance on this season, not just the future plans.

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"There is a lot of footy still to be played in 2024 and the chance to challenge for the play-offs, especially with the talent we have within our squad.

New Rhinos head coach Brad Arthur will be in attendance at Warrington on Thursday. (Photo: Matt King/Getty Images)New Rhinos head coach Brad Arthur will be in attendance at Warrington on Thursday. (Photo: Matt King/Getty Images)
New Rhinos head coach Brad Arthur will be in attendance at Warrington on Thursday. (Photo: Matt King/Getty Images)

"As well as making the most of that opportunity, the work we are all able to do over the next four months will help set the standards for the future and whatever lies ahead of myself and the club."

Arthur inherits a team that have kept their season alive thanks to back-to-back wins under Walker and Grix, leaving the Rhinos two points adrift of the top six heading into the final 11 rounds.

The interim appointment affords Leeds more time in their ongoing search for Smith's permanent successor.

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"I can understand it is an unusual situation but I think that it is a fantastic opportunity for everyone – myself, the other coaches and the players – and a good fit for everyone," added Arthur.

Ian Blease has headed the search for a new head coach. (Photo: James Hardisty)Ian Blease has headed the search for a new head coach. (Photo: James Hardisty)
Ian Blease has headed the search for a new head coach. (Photo: James Hardisty)

"I am looking forward to getting over and being at the game on Thursday night to see the boys take on Warrington."

Rhinos sporting director Ian Blease has headed the search since his arrival from Salford Red Devils in mid-June.

Paul Rowley has been heavily linked with the position but he is committed to seeing out the season with Salford.

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"We are delighted to have secured the services of a highly experienced coach in Brad Arthur for the remainder of this season," said Blease, who has not ruled out a longer stay for the Australian.

"Having a vacancy at this time of year has its own challenges with some of our other options committed to their current clubs.

"Brad is keen to get started and is heading to England now. He hopes to be at Thursday’s game against Warrington Wolves to get his first look at the team.

"We have seen at times this year the potential for this squad and Brad’s challenge will be to get more consistency from this group.

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"I have always said that we would not rush into long-term decisions for the good of the club. We recently announced new contracts for 15 of our brightest young stars and Brad’s appointment gives us the opportunity to focus on the current season whilst I can continue to build our long-term vision."

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