Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds Rhinos’ Super League opener against Warrington Wolves
Last year marked the end of a golden chapter in Leeds Rhinos history with club legends Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai signing off in style.
This season is a chance for a new generation to try and emulate the club’s past successes in a league that is becoming more and more competitive.
Danny McGuire’s appointment as captain is well deserved, I couldn’t think of anyone better to lead the club. McGuire, along with Rob Burrow, Carl Ablett, and various other Rhinos stalwarts have been there and done it over and over, so their experience will be instrumental.
Zak Hardaker will want to build on his Man of Steel accolade with another big year, and I’m sure Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Joel Moon and Tom Briscoe will also have huge parts to play.
Mitch Garbutt looks to have upped his game in the off season, and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact new signings have on the club, particularly Brett Ferres, who topped off a great season with a solid England performance in the Test Series triumph against New Zealand.
Liam Sutcliffe will also be hoping to make a big impression after spending the best part of last season on the side-lines. Sutcliffe is arguably one of the game’s most exciting prospects, and it will be great to see him step into a more regular role this year.
In 2015, we saw that young players could be relied on when it mattered, and I’m sure the likes of Ash Handley, Josh Walters and Ashton Golding will be waiting for their chance to impress once again.
In terms of Leeds’ main rivals, Sam Tomkins’ return to Super League has been hugely anticipated, and I think his performance will determine how Wigan fare this season. It’s nice to see Ryan Bailey playing again, and Rhinos fans will want him to do well at Warrington.
It’s hard to believe the Rhinos will be able to top or even match the events of last year but, given the spectacular style in which they won the treble, you can’t help but think that anything is possible.
Bring on the Wire!
We are back everyone! The season is going to start tonight and I am looking forward to another thrilling campaign.
We kick off at home and not at Hull KR for a change, with a very tough game against Warrington who have gone through a bit of change themselves.
I think they have recruited very well in the winter and we need to be at the top of our game to get the season off to a good start.
I won’t be reading too much into pre-season, however I have been very impressed with the performances of Ash Golding and Jordan Lilley especially. Our squad has plenty of depth and the promise from our academy players should bear fruit once again when they get their opportunities in the first team. I want us to continue the style of play that was brilliant to watch last season.
Congratulations to Danny McGuire on his new role of captain and I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Carl Ablett for his services to the club in his testimonial year. He is one of my favourite players and seriously underrated in my opinion.
Another season is ahead with great memories to be had. Let’s support the lads for the full 80 every week.
You never know we could witness another ‘Ryan Hall try at Huddersfield’ moment this year!
A new era, a new captain, a new challenge and new signings! The same blue and amber, same dedication, same hunger, same Leeds Rhinos!
So much has been written in the past few months about the legends that left the Rhinos at the end of 2015 and how the treble cannot be surpassed.
Many have written off Leeds already. But for me, the 2016 season signals a new exciting chapter for the club.
A season where so many players have the opportunity to ‘step up’ and shine. Running out at Headingley tonight to face Warrington Wolves will not be easy – but if we all continue ‘Marching On Together’ maybe we will surprise a few critics and perhaps even add to the trophy cabinet.
Leeds are in uncharted territory with a new-look squad; many are doubtful we can compete at the highest level of rugby for yet another year. Warrington have recruited well and will be difficult to beat. However, I believe Leeds will throw down the gauntlet early and grab the two points.
Super League is almost back and I can finally look forward to my weekends again...unless Leeds are playing on a Thursday night that is! Just like this week as we host Warrington in the competition opener.
It has to be said that over pre-season Leeds have looked rusty, but with undeniable talent still apparent.
My main message ahead of the 2016 season is that the club (players, coaches and fans) have to avoid complacency; a season like our 2015 one is difficult to back up, and still would be without the loss of three club legends.
We need to trust our youth development system and accept that we are at a new beginning.
Any trophy will do. Be loud, be proud, be Leeds.
At last the rugby season is back. After the magnificent end to the 2015 season, it’s time to move on and see how the champions will get on without the retiring trio.
Our new recruits look good, solid replacements. I can see a close win against Warrington this week.