'No longer a Leeds Rhinos player': Kruise Leeming update plus latest on Mikolaj Oledzki's return v Hull KR

Former captain Kruise Leeming is no longer a Leeds Rhinos player, coach Rohan Smith has confirmed.
Former Rhinos captain Kruise Leeming. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Former Rhinos captain Kruise Leeming. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Former Rhinos captain Kruise Leeming. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Leeming shocked the club two weeks ago by asking for a transfer, despite being under contract until the end of 2024.

And speaking at his weekly pre-match press conference this afternoon (Wednesday), Smith confirmed: “The paperwork at our end has been done, but I am not aware where he is going to.”

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Asked if Leeming - who is expected to move to NRL club Gold Coast Titans once his visa is approved - is “no longer a Leeds Rhinos player”, the coach stated: “To my knowledge, that is correct.”

Rhinos player of the year Mikolaj Oledzki. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Rhinos player of the year Mikolaj Oledzki. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Rhinos player of the year Mikolaj Oledzki. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Smith also confirmed reigning player of the year Mikolaj Oledzki will return from a shoulder injury when Rhinos visit Hull KR on Friday.

“It is great, he is a loveable character among the group as well as a great player and a good teammate,” he said of the props’s comeback.

“Everybody’s excited to have Mik back and there’s nobody more excited than him. He has had a lengthy shift in rehab’ and done a tremendous job.

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Ash Handley, second player from left, could be back on the field next month. Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.comAsh Handley, second player from left, could be back on the field next month. Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com
Ash Handley, second player from left, could be back on the field next month. Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com
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“He had an extended period playing in real pain in the big games at the back end of last season, then being in pain to try and do what he could for his country in the World Cup campaign with England.

“That led to surgery so it has been a long haul for him, but he is ready and he is excited.”

Smith will have some “really difficult” decisions to make with all his senior props now fit and available.

“Our squad is getting healthier, which is great,” Smith said. “It drives competition and we are going to need a squad to have a successful season.

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“It is pleasing to have Mik back and we are certainly getting healthier. We’ve had some players who’ve played well earlier in the season who’ve missed out of selection some weeks, which is a difficult thing for a coach.

“I certainly don’t take any decisions lightly. It consumes a lot of your time trying to do what’s right for the team for this week and also you’ve got to have a vision to the games ahead and the future as well.

“It is a difficult situation, but a good one for the club where genuine every-week Super League players sometimes won’t get a start.”