Leeds Rhinos: Jones-Bishop out to make a Super League impact

Flier Ben Jones-Bishop is preparing for a battle with Superman.

The pacey 22-year-old is back at Leeds Rhinos after a successful season-long loan stint with engage Super League rivals Harlequins.

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And he is determined to put pressure on incumbent full-back Brent Webb – given the Superman nickname by Leeds fans – as he bids to nail down a regular spot in the Rhinos team.

Webb remains Rhinos' No 1 and Jones-Bishop made his return on the left-wing in the New Year's Day Festive Challenge win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

He can also play in the centres and that versatility could give him an edge as boss Brian McDermott sets about deciding on his top 17.

"We have got a pretty good squad, from one to 30-odd," said the 22-year-old former Queens amateur, who will wear squad number 22 this year.

"I think we will be up there. Ideally I would like to play full-back, but we've got Brent Webb and he's Superman!

"Where ever I am put I will do my best and try and fill a hole."

Jones-Bishop made four appearances for Rhinos in 2008 and one the following year, before being sent to London to gain top-level experience. He scored 11 tries in 18 games for the capital outfit.

"It is good to be back," he said. "We've had a good pre-season, so it

was good to finally get a game at the weekend.

"I came through all right. My shoulder felt good, so it was pretty good.

"It is like I had never been away. The boys are welcoming and it's good times."

He added: "Brian McDermott was down at Harlequins so I know him and that has helped.

"Obviously you want to play every game, but it is a pretty strong team.

"If I get a chance hopefully I will take it and make it hard for me not to be in the team.

"I think being at Harlequins has really helped me.

"It was a good experience playing every week and I think I have really come on a lot as a result.

"I have still got a lot to improve on and to get better at. It was good

last year, but that's behind me now.

"I want to kick on this year and pick up where I left off."

Jones-Bishop, pictured right, was rewarded for the progress he made at Harlequins by being named in England's Four Nations training squad, though he had to drop out due to shoulder surgery.

"I was surprised to be picked to be honest," he admitted.

"I missed a few games because of injury and I would have wanted to play a few more matches, but it was good to get noticed."

Last year's main injury concern was a fractured skull suffered in Quins' shock win at eventual champions Wigan Warriors last April.

"It's sweet now," Jones-Bishop reported. "I've got a nice multi-coloured scrum hat to wear in games! It is fine, at the time it was a bit worrying but I am used to it now and it doesn't bother me.

"I don't think about it at all."

Meanwhile, second-rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan is to undergo an MRI scan on the leg he injured in last Saturday's win over Wakefield.

Coach Brian McDermott described the injury as a "really nasty" dead leg, but said Jones-Buchanan could be running in training by the end of next week if the scan comes back clear.

He added: "If there's a tear, it'll be something above a month."

Paul Heckingbottom.

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