Salford coach Paul Rowley's first words on Leeds Rhinos move amid Super League swap talk

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley says he doesn't expect an approach from Leeds Rhinos amid talk he is on the wanted list to replace Rohan Smith, who left Headingley earlier this week. Rowley is seen as the favourite in the eyes of many to take over at the Rhinos and in doing so join his good friend and former colleague Ian Blease, who on Monday this week began his new role as the Rhinos' sporting director.

Asked on Thursday morning at a press conference if he would be interested in speaking to Rowley about taking over, Blease said; "Talented coaches interest me and Paul would be one of them, obviously. Nothing has happened yet, we’re concentrating on tomorrow and that’s what the boys are doing. I’ve got no preconceived ideas. Applications are coming in as we speak but I want to make sure we do the job properly.”

While Blease clearly left the door open there for an approach for Rowley, the Salford coach was singing a different song while on Sky Sports duty ahead of the televised match between Castleford Tigers and Hull KR. Asked if an approach had been made, Rowley said; "Absolutely not. I think they've got a big week ahead, a big game and occasion tomorrow and I've got a big week myself preparing my team to play.

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"I don't expect anything. It's nice to be linked with any job, it's a privilige and an honour, but I don't expect anything."

Rowley has already had one approach this season from Hull FC and held talks with the Black and Whites about taking over at the MKM Stadium, before ultimately deciding to stay with the Red Devils. "A fair reflection would be that I had a sensible decision and came to a sensible conclusion.," added Rowley, reflecting on the Hull talks.

"I had a discussion. Hull were great, really professional, and so was I. It's like any other walk of life when you're headhunted, you have a discussion and you either do or you don't. I think it's unhealthy to speculate that things that aren't factual.

" I thought Bleasy dealt with it pretty well. I always stick to facts and the facts remain there have been no discussions and I'm committed to coaching my team against St Helens this weekend."