Leeds Rhinos Academy Secures Top Talent with Long-Term Deals

Leeds Rhinos Secure Promising Talent with New Academy Deals

In a significant move, Leeds Rhinos have handed new long-term contracts to 15 members of their academy, including five current first-team players. This announcement underscores the club’s dedication to nurturing and investing in its young talent.

Four of the contracted players have already made their Super League debuts, showcasing the Rhinos’ commitment to providing opportunities for their academy products. Riley Lumb has penned a four-year deal, while Ned McCormack, Alfie Edgell, and Tom Nicholson-Watton have signed three-year and one-year contracts, respectively.

Leeds Rhinos Sporting Director Ian Blease expressed pride in the club’s track record of developing talented youngsters and giving them a chance to shine at the highest level. He highlighted the recent contributions of Edgell and McCormack in the win over Leigh Leopards as examples of the Rhinos’ continued success in this area.

“We’re really proud of our track record of developing talented young players and giving them the opportunity to shine at the highest level,” said Blease.

Head of Youth John Bastian emphasized the significance of this investment, stating that the group of young Rhinos players covers all positions and has the time to develop within the Super League squad, aiming to compete for starting roles in the years ahead.

The most notable contract is a five-year deal for promising forward Presley Cassell, while half-backs Fergus McCormack, Harry Smith, and George Brown, as well as props Jayemm Oladipupo and Joe Butterfield, have all signed four-year deals. Jacob Stead, Joe Diskin, Harley Thomas, and Marcus Qareqare have also committed to the club for the next four seasons.

These new contracts not only demonstrate Leeds Rhinos’ commitment to their academy but also highlight the club’s long-term planning and investment in its future. As the young Rhinos players strive to follow in the footsteps of academy graduates Ash Handley and Harry Newman, who are currently in the England squad, the club’s focus on nurturing homegrown talent is sure to pay dividends in the years to come.

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