Golden memories: Can you spot the future stars in Leeds Rhinos' 2002 academy Grand Final-winning side?

Two years and three days after this picture of Leeds Rhinos' academy title-winning side was taken, four of the 17 players were celebrating another championship triumph - at Old Trafford.

By Peter Smith
Monday, 7th March 2022, 11:38 am

Rhinos beat Bradford Bulls 12-7 in the academy Grand Final at Headingley on October 13, 2002.

The side that day included Richard Mathers, Danny McGuire, Ryan Bailey and Rob Burrow who all played in Leeds' 16-8 defeat of Bulls in the Super League title decider on October 16, 2004.

Leeds' team included another future Super League winner in Nick Scruton.

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Rhinos celebrate their academy Grand Final win on October 13, 2002. Picture by Mel Hulme.

Stuart Reardon, Rob Parker and Jamie Langley played for Bulls in both finals.

Leeds' academy trailed 1-0 at half-time, to a Chris Bridge drop goal, but Peter Lupton kicked them ahead with a penalty goal seven minutes after the break and substitute Damien Kennedy scored their opening try.

Bridge pulled two points back for Bulls before McGuire touched down to make it 10-3 with six minutes left. Reardon crossed for Bradford soon afterwards, but Leeds held on.

Rhinos' team for the 2002 academy Grand Final was: Richard Mathers, Austin Buchanan, Andy Kirk, Dwayne Barker, Mat Gardner, Danny McGuire, Jon Hepworth, Ewan Dowes, Jon Wainhouse, Tommy Gallagher, Jason Netherton, Ryan Bailey, Peter Lupton. Subs Rob Burrow, Craig Stanley, Nick Scruton, Damien Kennedy.

Rhinos' Richard Mathers gets away from Rob Parker in the 2002 academy Grand Final. Picture by Mel Hulme.

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Jon Hepworth with the academy trophy after the 2002 Grand Final. Picture by Mel Hulme.