Leeds Rhinos: Hall back in training to prepare for new season

Leeds Rhinos England winger Ryan Hall has returned to training early – determined to make amends for a disappointing conclusion to 2010.

Hall ended last season with 31 tries, becoming the first Leeds player since John Atkinson in the 1972-73 season to score 30-plus tries in consecutive seasons.

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After becoming only the fourth player in the club's history to achieve that feat following on from Eric Harris and Drew Turnball, the winger was named in the Engage Super League Dream Team and as the sole Rhinos sole representative in Steve McNamara's England squad but the Leeds-born flyer was still disappointed with his season as a whole.

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Hall was frustrated at picking up a hamstring injury while on duty with his national side and also disappointed that Leeds finished the season trophy-less after losing their cherished Super League crown and following defeat to Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup final.

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And Hall has shown his appetite for bouncing back with a vengeance by asking new head coach Brian McDermott to return to training early at his own request.

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The 23-year-old is hugely impressed by McDermott, and his new assistant coach James Lowes, and is now fully focused on a stellar 2011.

"Originally I was not due back until next week but I spoke to Brian and asked if I could come back in early," said Hall.

"I want to work on my fitness and make sure I am ready for the new


"The season ended disappointingly for me after I picked up a hamstring injury whilst away with England.

"It was unusual to be the only Rhino in the squad but it was a great camp albeit a frustrating one for me personally as I wanted to be out there helping the team out.

"The injury is fine now and I just want to get back out there.

"There is a great spirit amongst the boys.

"Brian McDermott has come in and he is putting his ideas into place.

"I worked with James Lowes when I was with England so I was pleased to

hear he was on board for next season.

"It was disappointing to finish last season without any silverware and we know that we need improve."

Whilst still only 23, Hall admits that he is enjoying his role as a senior player in a youthful looking Rhinos squad.

He added: "It is great to have a new fresh bunch of lads coming through with a burst of enthusiasm. They help pull everyone along,

"I remember when I was the youngster in the group and it is now my turn to try and help them."

Leeds also welcome back Ben Jones-Bishop after his loan spell at Harlequins RL last season and Hall is expecting big things from his former Academy team-mate.

He added: "Ben has come back from Quins and I am sure he will make an impact this year.

"He was able to get plenty of action in Super League last year whilst on loan and that is like gold to a young player, you learn so much by getting game time and there is definitely a correlation between how much game time you get and the better you become."

New coach McDermott could face a potential selection headache when Leeds take on Wakefield Wildacts on Boxing Day in the Festive Charity Trophy with only Danny Buderus and long-term injury victims Jamie Peacock and Danny McGuire not available.

New signing, prop Ben Cross arrives in the UK from Australia today to press his claims for inclusion.