A bright future - spotlight on Leeds Rhinos' former Hudderfield Giants hooker Kruise Leeming

Off-season signing Kruise Leeming is today’s player in the spotlight as the Yorkshire Evening Post assesses Leeds Rhinos’ squad for the rest of 2020.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 13th July 2020, 12:45 pm

Betfred Super League will resume on Sunday, August 2, when Rhinos face Leeming’s former club Huddersfield Giants.

The hooker could make his Rhinos debut after recovering from a knee injury which kept him out of their opening five games before the coronavirus shutdown.

So what will Leeming add to Rhinos’ quest for silverware?

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Attributes:

Leeming missed only one game for Giants last year and, with seven seasons’ Super League experience already under his belt, the 24-year-old has not yet reached his peak.

He is fast out of acting-half, has an eye for a gap, distributes the ball well and his overall game has improved year on year.

Defining moment:

Kruise Leeming in training with Rhinos on Monday, July 13. Picture by Phil Daly.

Leeming marked himself as a future star when he made his first team debut for Giants against Warrington Wolves in 2013 and scored a try with his second touch.

His England Knights debut, against Papua New Guinea on the 2018 tour, was another big moment.

Best season:

Leeming was effectively Giants’ first-choice hooker in 2017, making 24 of his 31 appearances in the starting lineup.

Kruise Leeming in the gym at Kirkstall as Rhinos began training ahead of their Super League return. Picture by Phil Daly.

He also impressed last year, playing 29 times and starting 15 games.

Concerns:

The Eswatini(Swaziland)-born forward had the worst possible start to his Rhinos career, suffering a knee injury in the final training session before Christmas which led to surgery and delayed his debut.

He was awarded Rhinos’ number nine jersey in the off-season, but - other than in 2017 - has yet to be a first-choice hooker so will be taking on added responsibility at Leeds, if he can displace Brad Dwyer.

Kruise Leeming looks to pass for Huddersfield against Hull KR last season. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Value:

Leeds parted with England academy forward Owen Trout as part of the deal to sign Leeming from Giants on a two-year contract, which indicates how highly they rate him.

He is young enough to have a long and bright future at Leeds and possibly Test level.

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https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/opinion/were-therewithyou-now-your-yep-needs-your-support-too-laura-collins-yep-editor-2521777