Aussie import Mitch Garbutt reckons Leeds Rhinos would be a class act in the NRL.
Rhinos have won six of their seven games since Garbutt joined the club at the end of June, reaching the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final and opening a four-point lead in the First Utility Super-8s table.
And Garbutt, a former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos forward, believes Rhinos would be able to hold their own in Australia’s elite competition.
Rhinos are hoping to secure a place in next year’s World Club Series and Garbutt said: “There’s no doubt all of the players in the team here are good enough to perform at a high level in the NRL.
“It is a great club and I am lucky to play with boys like JP (Jamie Peacock), Abbo (Carl Ablett), Kev (Sinfield) and Mags (Danny McGuire). They are world-class players.”
Of his introduction to the British game, Garbutt said: “I’ve loved it so far.
“Everything has been really good and I am lucky to be playing with such a great side as the Rhinos.
“It is a very exciting time for me and the boys, but we know we’ve got to be switched on every week because there’s big games every week and we’ll just keep trying to improve. I expected it to be a very tough brand of football and that’s what I’ve got. After every game I’ve played in I’ve woken up very sore. There’s no easy games, that’s for sure.”
Last Friday’s 25-18 win over Wigan Warriors moved Leeds into a commanding position on the table, with five games remaining before the play-offs.
But Garbutt insisted Rhinos still have work to do if they are going to secure the league leaders’ shield and a home semi-final.
He said: “It was a very tough win.
“It was one of those games where we had to play really, really well to get the win. They are a top side and a very resilient team. There were a lot of sore boys on Saturday morning.”