Minchella and Walters pen new deals with Leeds Rhinos

Robbie Ward

Robbie Ward

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Leeds Rhinos have tied down two more of their talented youngsters to long-term deals.

Back-rowers Elliot Minchella, 18, and Josh Walters, 20, have both signed contracts that will see them remain at Headingley Carnegie until at least the end of the 2017.

Bradford-born Minchella is part of the England Academy team who today take on the Australian Schoolboys looking to topple the tourists for the only their third time in their 40-year history.

He has made six first-team appearances for Leeds having come through the academy ranks while Walters has amassed nine games, scoring three tries, after arriving via a more unusual route.

He joined the Rhinos Academy from sister Yorkshire Carnegie and, remarkably, made his debut in Super League this year less than 12 months after playing his first-ever rugby league game for the club’s under-19s.

Walters is currently studying at Leeds Beckett University and Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott said: “Both Elliot and Josh have shown outstanding promise as young players.

“They now face the challenge of turning that into becoming regular members of our matchday squad over the next three years. Elliot is still only young at 18 but the chance to train and be around people like Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Carl Ablett is something that will be invaluable for him in his development in the next few years.

“Josh has made fantastic strides in a short period of time. He is an intelligent player who is committed to working hard, listening to feedback and learning from those around him. Whilst he may not have been brought up in rugby league, he has turned that into an advantage for himself and has learned the game at the elite level.

“I am pleased both young players have agreed new contracts and it bodes well for the transition of our team over the next three years.”

Leeds Rhinos' Carl Ablett powers through the Featherstone defence during the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final match at Headingley Carnegie. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

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