OUT-ON-LOAN props Luke Ambler and Kyle Amor will get chance to prove they are worth a place in Leeds Rhinos’ squad next year, boss Brian McDermott has confirmed.
Ambler has spent this season on loan at today’s Engage Super League hosts Harlequins, while Amor is on a similar arrangement at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Rhinos have signed Crusaders prop Richard Moore on a three-year deal beginning next year and are strongly linked with Huddersfield Giants front-rower Darrell Griffin.
But McDermott insisted recruitment in the front-row does not mean Ambler or Amor – who are under contract to Leeds – will be discarded.
“Luke is going to finish off his loan deal,” McDermott said. “He has been there all this season and has developed his game and his career.
“He has got a lot more first-team appearances under his belt and at the end of their season he will come back to us and see out the remainder of the season with us.
“The same applies to Kyle. He will come back and train with us and become part of our squad again. They have both had tough seasons in terms of results and where they are on the ladder, but some fellas come to the fore in those circumstances.
“Both those fellas have had a lot of first-team games. They will be better players for it and more experienced.”
Moore has been signed to replace Luke Burgess, who joined South Sydney Rabbitohs mid-way through this season.
Griffin is set to take the place of Ben Cross, who was released at the same time as Burgess.
Of next season, McDermott described the situation as “fluid” and he said: “We haven’t really signed any extra-props.
“We have recruited Richard Moore, but we started this season with eight signed-on props, knowing full well that at least one would have to go out and have a loan spell somewhere.
“I do have some preconceived ideas about who is going to be starting at prop. Jamie Peacock’s name will be somewhere there, as will Kylie Leuluai, Ryan Bailey and Ian Kirke.
“But the fellas who are coming in, if they go through pre-season and they’re outstanding and they are good in the pre-season warm-up games, there is nothing set in stone.
“There’s no drawbridge being pulled up and Luke and Kyle are going to be given an opportunity.”
Peacock (one year), Leuluai (one year) and Kirke (two years) have all recently signed new contracts.
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington confirmed Bailey is already contracted for 2012.