LOAN-RANGER Jimmy Keinhorst reckons a year at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will make him a better player.
The Leeds Rhinos centre has joined Wildcats on a season-long loan in a deal which will strengthen Wakefield’s outside-backs and give him valuable top-flight experience.
Keinhorst, 23, played nine Super League games for Rhinos last year and made 15 appearances on dual-registration at Hunslet Hawks.
He said: “That’s the crux of it, to get in some first-team games and play in Super League regularly if I can.
“This year it would be a tough ask again to get in that Leeds backline with the players they’ve got there.
“This is an opportunity for me to get those games in that I need to develop and grow my confidence and push on and get better as a player.
“I think I’ll be pushed at Wakefield as well. They’ve got some good players and there will definitely be some competition for places.
“It’s not a guarantee I am going to be playing week-in and week-out. I have to be really on top of my game to do that.”
After scoring 13 tries in the Championship last year, Keinhorst feels he needs more experience in the top division.
He said: “With the greatest of respect to Hunslet this (playing for Wildcats) is a step up.
“Obviously, the Super League competition is a tough one and playing at that level’s the only way I am going to be able to improve and get better as a player, which is what I am hoping to do this year.”
Kyle Amor did not return to Leeds after joining Wakefield on a similar deal three seasons ago, but Keinhorst believes he still has a future at Rhinos.
“I still think I am in their plans somewhere along the line,” he said. “If it is not this season or next season, it is another opportunity to work on what I need to do to be ready for when that time comes.
“When it does, hopefully, I’ll be in a better position then than I am now.”
Keinhorst has not played since suffering a serious shoulder injury in Rhinos’ Super League win at Salford City Reds last August.
He is hoping to feature in Andy Raleigh’s testimonial game at home to Huddersfield Giants in 11 days’ time, or away to Hunslet Hawks the following Sunday.
“I am hoping to,” he confirmed. “It would be good to get a run-out or two if possible before the season starts.
“Obviously, I’ve not played for a good while now but, hopefully, that will be sorted out within the next couple of weeks and I can get into it.
“I am definitely looking to try and get a game in before the first league game at Salford.”
Keinhorst is confident there will be no issues with his shoulder when he gets back on the field.
“I didn’t have a reconstruction,” he said. “Some of the cartilage got torn around the front and back of the joint when it dislocated.
“It (surgery) was to fix that up, basically stitch that up and strengthen that up again.
“It was a repair more than a reconstruction.”
Meanwhile, coach Richard Agar is demanding a better attitude from his side as they prepare for the visit of league leaders Huddersfield.
Wildcats are licking their wounds after last weekend’s 24-8 defeat at Featherstone Rovers and Agar said: “We were beaten for enthusiasm and desire.”