Rhinos lighten up injury time for young fans

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Time out for two injured young rugby players was cheered up by surprise visits from some Rhinos,

Jess Bell, 13, who plays for Hunslet Warriors, recently broke her femur during a game for her school team, Cockburn John Charles Academy, and

Ellie Wainhouse, 13, suffered a fractured pelvis when playing for East Leeds.

While in hospital, Jess received a visit from Leeds Rhinos Women’s captain Lois Forsell and winger Sophie Robinson, who also took along the Challenge Cup for the young player to see.

Jess’ mum Joanne said the visit had been highly therapeutic for her daughter.

She explained: “The day the girls visited Jess she had to walk some steps and if she wasn’t able to do it she wouldn’t have been allowed home.

“Jess was on such a high though, she did the steps with no problem! She has been in a lot of pain but is doing really well and making good progress.

“Every time someone visits she shows them the ball the girls brought her and has been wearing the t-shirt too. It’s going to be three to six months recovery, but she loves rugby and can’t wait to get back playing.”

Forsell was then joined by team mate and England international Danika Priim on her trip to see Ellie. Both Forsell and Priim, who missed the end of the Rhinos season after suffering ACL injuries, said the girls had been inspirational.

Priim said: “It was nice to see how well Ellie is doing following her injury. I know how tough it is, but Ellie was so upbeat and positive and was definitely an inspiration for me. I’d like to wish both girls all the best for their recovery.”

Ellie’s mum, Lucy, said: “Ellie has been so strong during her injury, she even played on and scored a try before saying the pain was too much.

“The visit from Lois and Daniika, who are both players she really admires, gave her a real lift and helped to improve her mood.”