Leeds Rhinos fully motivated by star duo’s big send-off
LEEDS RHINOS have nothing to play for on the Betfred Super League table, but half-back Richie Myler insists there is no shortage of motivation for tomorrow’s visit of Warrington Wolves.
The final game of the season will be an emotional occasion as club legend Jamie Jones-Buchanan brings the curtain down on a 20-year career.
Points difference means Rhinos will probably finish eighth, whatever happens tomorrow, but Rhinos are keen to end a disappointing year on a positive note with a rare win over a top-five team.
Myler said: “There’s a couple of boys we want to give a good send off to – it is Jonesy’s last game and we will be firing up for it.
“Warrington are a quality side and they played well last week, so we know it’s going to be a tough game but we are all looking forward to it.”
Jones-Buchanan, 38, made his Leeds debut in 1999, when Myler was eight. The seven-time Grand Final winner will captain the team in his 421st and last game for the club.
“It is a credit to how professional he has been,” Myler said of the Rhinos legend.
“He is a champion bloke and he has been a champion player for this club and we would like to send him off in the right fashion.”
Jones-Buchanan was a try scorer in last Friday’s home defeat by Salford Red Devils when he returned from a four-month spell on the sidelines.
He was drafted in as a late replacement after Adam Cuthbertson withdrew owing to illness and Myler said: “He was great last week. I thought he was tremendous when he came off the bench.
“He has been great, a brilliant asset for the club for a long time.
“He has been a stalwart of the club’s success and one of the foundations of the generation who came through.
“We don’t have to talk him up too much; I think his record speaks for itself.”
Another long-serving forward, Carl Ablett, has also confirmed he is hanging up his boots.
Ablett, 33, has another year left on his contract, but has not played this season because of an ankle injury.
“They have been two tremendous players for this club,” Myler added.
“They’ve been in a generation that was really successful and won a lot of trophies.
“He hasn’t been able to play this year but last year I got a good combination with Abbo.
“He is a great player and a nice bloke as well.”
Tomorrow’s game is Rhinos’ first since Richard Agar – previously the interim-boss – was confirmed as head coach for 2020.
Myler said: “I think everyone expected it for a while. I don’t think it was a great secret in the sense he has brought some stability to the club when we needed it.
“He has been great and the boys have responded well enough. It has been good.
“It is clear and everyone knows where they are at and what they are doing.”