Aidan Sezer’s got his sights set on big year with Leeds Rhinos

AFTER AN injury-ravaged season last year, half-back Aidan Sezer reckons he can regain his best form in new surroundings at Leeds Rhinos.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 6:00 am

The 30-year-old pivot was an NRL Grand Finalist with Canberra Raiders in 2019 and earned a Man of Steel nomination the following year, after joining Huddersfield Giants.

But an ankle injury suffered playing for Combined Nations All Stars against England last June brought his Giants career to a premature end and means he will go into Rhinos’ Betfred Super League opener against Warrington Wolves in two days’ time with something to prove.

Sezer has big boots to fill, having replaced England half-back Luke Gale as Rhinos’ number seven, but the Aussie is relishing his fresh start.

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Aidan Sezer is targeting a big season with Leeds Rhinos. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“I am loving it; the club has been great, the boys have been good and I am enjoying my time as a Leeds player thus far,” Sezer said of his new club.

“I was happy with my first year at the Giants.

“Last year was disappointing with the injury and things like that, but I am starting afresh here, at a big club and hopefully I can play my best footy.”

Sezer – one of four new signings at Leeds – stressed: “I think we have got a really good squad.

Leeds Rhinos' Blake Austin will miss Saturday's game against Warrington Wolves due to suspension. Picture: Steve Riding.

“The club have recruited really well and we’ve got a good balance of youth and experience, so hopefully we can win a few more games.

“The boys had a good year last year and we are trying to go that one step better.”

Saturday’s visitors Warrington are also starting afresh, under new coach Daryl Powell and will likewise have some new faces on show.

“They will be enthusiastic,” Sezer predicted.

Aidan Sezer is relishing coming up against players such as George Williams, above, when Leeds Rhinos play Warrington on Saturday. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“They have got some good players, George Williams and Gareth Widdop in the halves, Daryl Clark at hooker.

“They are a class side so we have got our work cut out for us, but hopefully we can perform well in round one.”

Controversially, Sezer will have to wait another week, until Rhinos visit Wigan Warriors in eight days’ time, to link up again with Blake Austin, who was his half-back partner at NRL club Canberra Raiders.

Austin is suspended for Saturday’s game – denying him a debut against his former club – but Sezer is confident the partnership will thrive once they finally get together in a competitive match.

“It has been good,” he said of training alongside Austin and playing with him in pre-season.

“It has been enjoyable, as always. We are good mates and that makes things easier, coming to a new club and making a fresh start together.

“When we came across [to England] you don’t anticipate playing together, because there’s only a limited number of spots at each club. To be here together, at such a big club, is good.”

And Sezer pledged both he and Austin will be looking to attack on both sides of the field, rather than sticking to one channel.

“You are always structured in defence, but in attack we want to be as free-flowing as possible,” he stated.

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