LONG-SERVING Leeds Rhinos stand-off Danny McGuire has welcomed having competition for his place for the first time.
After a decade as one of Rhinos’ undisputed first-choice play-makers, the emergence of YEP Shooting Star Liam Sutcliffe means McGuire has a club-mate snapping at his heels.
Sutcliffe, 19, announced himself as an outstanding prospect by making 18 senior appearances in 2013 and McGuire believes players and team will benefit from the rivalry.
“There’s a lot of competition for places which is good and keeps everybody on their toes, so we’ll see which way Mac wants to go with it,” McGuire said of the selection dilemma facing coach Brian McDermott.
“There’s four players who could potentially play in the halves – myself, Rob (Burrow), Kev (Sinfield) and Sutty all vying for two places.
“Rob’s spent a bit of time at Nine and Kev and Sutty can move about into the loose, back-row or nine and I am the only one who’s probably either a six or a seven.
“But it’s all on form and whoever’s playing well will get the shirt. I think that’s the way it should be.
“If someone’s not performing then there’s going to be changes. Hopefully I’ll get first shot at that, then it’s up to me to prove I’m worthy of that shirt.”
McGuire touched down eight times 23 appearances last season and is now the fourth-highest try scorer in Leeds’ history.
“I’ve enjoyed being back in training,” said the 31 year-old, who has also scored more Super League tries than any other player.
“I’ve been back in since the middle of November and it’s been really good and enjoyable.
“I am excited for the start of the season and I think we’ve got a lot of potential in the squad again.
“We’re very similar to what we had last year with a couple of quality additions.
“Our younger players are a year older and more experienced so I think it should hopefully be another good, successful season for us.
“Last year was a bit disappointing to finish how we did and not reach any finals and on a personal level I missed quite a few games with a broken leg.
“I’m hoping it’s a season I can get through without any injuries and I can have a big impact in the team. I am pretty determined to do that.”
McGuire added: “Last season I got a full off-season for the first time in a long while and I really felt the benefits.
“I played the first 18 games
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