Leeds Rhinos’ Jack Broadbent ‘close’ to call up reveals boss Richard Agar

LEEDS RHINOS boss Richard Agar has revealed why Jack Broadbent has yet to play a first team game for the club this season.

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

Broadbent scored nine tries in 14 appearances last year and was voted Rhinos’ most outstanding young player, but has been overlooked for the opening four games of 2022.

Liam Tindall has been the player called in from outside Rhinos’ top-20 when they have had an opening in the three-quarters, but – with Harry Newman back on the casualty list – both he and Broadbent are included in the initial squad for tonight’s visit of Hull.

Broadbent, 21, scored a hat-trick for Rhinos’ reserves two weeks ago and played for them again last weekend, when Tindall was on dual-registration duty with Bradford Bulls.

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Jack Broadbent in action for Leeds Rhinos in pre-season. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“We probably looked on pre-season form,” Agar said of his selections so far.

“Despite [Broadbent] having a terrific year last year, we probably felt Liam Tindall had had such a good pre-season and his impact in games warranted the spot a fraction on form over Jack.

“Because dual-reg’ has not quite worked for us this year with Featherstone, it has been really difficult to get Jack out there and get him some games.

“That’s not ideal in terms of his development and getting him game-ready.

Leeds Rhinos' Jack Broadbent in training. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“He has played a couple of games for us in reserve grade and I think he has shown much better form.

“He is close, he is in the conversation as Liam Tindall has been and Maxi Simpson is pushing his way in – he is a kid we have got a lot of confidence in too.

“There’s some competition for places in there.”

Tom Briscoe, who was a substitute last week, is another candidate to replace Newman in today’s starting line-up, but Rhinos are also without hooker/captain Kruise Leeming and loose-forward Cameron Smith.

Leeming was suspended for one-match following a high tackle in the win at Wakefield and Smith received similar punishment for dangerous contact, taking the number of suspensions since Rhinos’ opening pre-season game to six.

“I have no real argument with Cameron Smith’s,” Agar said.

“It was a real error of judgement from Cam and I think we all know he’s not a malicious player, he just got his selection wrong in that tackle.

“I have got no problem they picked up on that one.

“Kruise, I thought it was a good read and very close to being a really, really good tackle, but they’ve deemed he’s gone a fraction high on it.

“I still feel, despite the number of players we’ve got out at the moment, we will put a really strong team on the park.It is a good opportunity for the guys who are getting a chance.”

Last week’s victory broke Rhinos’ duck for the season and Agar wants to see his team build on that this evening.

He was in the crowd at the Jungle five days ago when Hull were beaten by Castleford and admitted Jake Connor will be the leading threat to Rhinos.

“When you look at some of the stuff he is doing with the ball, he is very much a focal point of their attack,” he warned. “Some of the trickery and execution of his plays has been first class.

“Sometimes you know what’s coming and you know where he is, but he deceives really well and his ability to pick the right man and find a pass is exceptionally good.

“They have got some big boppers in the middle of the field who, when they are full of energy, can certainly bend your line a bit and I think their attack hasn’t been too far away.”

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