LEEDS RHINOS will be facing a “legend” of the club when they visit Perpignan on Saturday.
Rhinos veteran Rob Burrow has described Catalan Dragons full-back Brent Webb – who spent six seasons at Leeds – as one of the best overseas players in Super League’s history.
Webb joined Catalan last season after a glittering Rhinos career which saw him play in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Grand Final wins, as well as twice at Wembley and in two World Club Challenge matches.
“He is the best import I have ever played with, certainly in his prime at Leeds,” Burrow said. “He was amazing for the club.
“He is a great competitor and his decision-making was the best of any full-back in the world I reckon.
“When he chimed into the line he was always a threat. If you watch videos from when he played for us you’ll see how many tries he we scored off his last pass.
“Either with a cut-out ball or a short pass, he was behind a lot of stuff we did and he was fantastic for us and certainly a legend for the club.”
Webb played for Catalan when Leeds beat them 20-12 at Headingley Carnegie last August, but tomorrow will be the first time he has faced them as a home player.
Catalan will be looking to kick-start their season after back-to-back away defeats by Hull and Castleford Tigers.
“Everybody wants to be good against their old club and you’ve got to expect Webby to be at his best this week,” Burrow said. “Everybody loves Webby, he is a great lad and we also know what he can be like on the pitch. He is a top fella, but you have to give him a lot of respect on the pitch. He will want to play his best game and sock it to us. We have got to be aware of that.”
Burrow said Rhinos aren’t taking any comfort from Catalan’s poor start to the campaign. He said: “We never have done. For all the time I have been playing, clubs who have performed poorly the week before play Leeds and they are a totally different team. We don’t plan for them to play like they did last week, we plan for them to be at their best. That’s how we approach every team and it will be the same this week.”
Rhinos aim to make it three wins from three and Burrow added: “We want to keep it going. We aren’t getting carried away, I don’t think we’ve been brilliant yet, but we’ve got wins against two tough teams in games we could have lost in the past. It is important we keep going and we keep improving. We got the win over Warrington last week, but it was far from perfect.”
Skipper Kevin Sinfield has been named in Rhinos’ 19-man squad to travel to Perpignan tomorrow despite the ankle injury he picked up against Warrington.
Youngster Liam Sutcliffe is recalled to the squad as cover for Sinfield. He replaces Mitch Achurch in the initial squad.
Leeds Rhinos squad: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield (c), Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Clarkson, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton.
Bradford coach Francis Cummins has described the situation at the Bulls as “anarchy” and admits he is worried about losing more players to the “vultures” following the collapse of the latest takeover plan.
The crisis-torn Super League outfit is back in the hands of administrators after Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd, the company set up to take over from OK Bulls Ltd, withdrew its offer when the club were docked six competition points.
Sunday’s home game against London Broncos is not in doubt and the players were assured their monthly wages would be paid on time this week when they returned to training on Wednesday morning.