Norths Devils have congratulated head coach Rohan Smith on his appointment as coach of Leeds Rhinos in the UK Super League.
Smith will leave the Devils in the coming days to join Leeds. He goes with the blessing of a club that he led to a premiership last October.
“This is great news for Rohan. We are rapt for him and delighted that his work at the Devils has been recognised with an appointment of this nature,” Devils president Michael Crutcher said.
“Rohan informed the board, CEO Troy Rovelli and players last night of his appointment.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Rohan and his family and an exciting time for Leeds. Rohan was signed by Norths for the 2018 season and his work here has been outstanding. He built a squad that went from outsiders to premiers in the space of three full seasons in a highly competitive league.”
The Devils will confirm coaching arrangements for the remainder of the Hostplus Cup season. The Devils sit in third place with three wins from their opening four matches.
“We are fortunate that Rohan leaves behind a very strong structure with excellent coaching staff,” Devils CEO Troy Rovelli said.
“And we have a strong group of players led by our co-captains Jack Ahearn and Michael Sio. Jack and Mikey were the first two players signed by Rohan when he joined Norths so it’s fitting that they will help to carry on a culture that has developed so well in recent years.
“Our goals as a club don’t change and our standards will not change. Devils fans will continue to see a team that plays high-energy football and plays for each other.
“We thank Rohan for his service. This is exciting news for him and for our club, which is truly a pathway to the highest level for players and coaches. Performances here are noted across the rugby league world.
“We look forward to Rohan’s career and the continued success of the Devils.”
Smith was named the competition’s coach of the year in 2021 before guiding Norths to a grand final win with a squad of pure Devils – all players on grand final day had signed Norths contracts in 2021 with no players available from our Broncos NRL affiliate.
“Our club has a storied list of premiership coaches over our 90 years. They include Bob Bax, Clive Churchill, Graham Lowe, Mark Murray and now Rohan Smith. Rohan belongs in that company,” Crutcher said.
“We’re grateful for the system he has built here and we look forward to what comes next for Norths and for Rohan.”
Smith thanked the Devils for the last five seasons, relishing the head-coaching role.
“It’s been a great experience at an historic club and I’m very grateful for the opportunity and for everyone who has been involved over recent seasons,” Smith said.
“One of the best things about rugby league is the relationships you build with players and other coaches. Our family has made friendships here that we will carry forever. And I know that the players remained focused on what’s to come in 2022. They have an exciting season ahead and I wish them the very best.”
The Devils’ season continues on Saturday night with a clash with the Jets at Ipswich.
Rohan Smith as Norths Devils head coach 2018-2022 including finals:
Overall: 72 games. 48-24 win-loss record (66.6 per cent win rate)
Since 2020: 25 games. 22-3 win-loss record (88 per cent win rate)
Intrust Super Cup Coach of the Year 2021