Leeds Rhinos forward Tom Holroyd keen to make up for lost time in Super League clash with Leigh Centurions

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Big forward Tom Holroyd is keen to make up for lost time.

Leeds Rhinos’ game at Leigh Centurions on Friday will be Holroyd’s eighth of a disrupted campaign.

He was sidelined until June after suffering a fractured leg in pre-season training and then missed two fixtures last month because of an ankle injury.

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With Mikolaj Oledzki (foot injury), Matt Prior (Covid) and King Vuniyayawa (concussion) all ruled out, the 20-year-old’s size and power will be needed tonight and over the coming weeks.

Tom Holroyd in action against Leigh last month. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.Tom Holroyd in action against Leigh last month. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Tom Holroyd in action against Leigh last month. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

He is injury-free now and admitted: “I just need to get little things in my game right and I’ll be fine.

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“I know I can fix them up in training during the week and we go from there.

“I am just building, I am young, I am still learning and that’s all part of it.”

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Tom Holroyd. Picture by Steve Riding.Tom Holroyd. Picture by Steve Riding.
Tom Holroyd. Picture by Steve Riding.

With three middles unavailable, Holroyd is likely to get ample game time during the next few matches, but wants to be in the side and on the pitch on his own merits.

“I want to be in the team regardless,” he stressed.

“I don’t really bother too much who’s in and who’s out of the team, I don’t like to dwell on that.

“I think whoever we put in the team we have a team who’s good enough to do the job.

“They [Oledzki and Prior] are obviously big, key players, but my job doesn’t change, regardless of whether they are playing or not.

“I just do my best and go from there.”

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Four of Holroyd’s appearances this year have been as a substitute.

“Impact and aggression, hopefully,” is what he said he aims to bring to the team off the bench.

“I just want to add my bit; it’s not for me, it’s for the team.

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“That’s what I am focused on, the end result and what we get out of it as a team.”

He added: “I don’t mind really, but if you want to be something you want to be a starter for Leeds.

“That’s where I see myself in a few years, or even now. But I will go wherever for the team and do whatever fits the bill and whatever the coach decides.

“I am sure he makes the right decision, I trust in that.

“Last week was my 20th performance and it’s good to be getting the game time.

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“I have missed out on quite a few games and I think I’d have got a few more if it wasn’t for injuries, but that’s part of it and I have learned loads off the back of that.”

Holroyd confirmed he has another year on his Leeds contract and believes the club’s future is bright, based on the young talent coming through the ranks, particularly in the pack.

New signing James Bentley is 23, one year older than Oledzki.

Jarrod O’Connor and Sam Walters are both 20 and Morgan Gannon is 17.

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“That’s what Leeds are great at, pushing young lads through,” Holroyd observed.

“Hopefully that’s the way the team goes.

“That’s what I like to see, home-grown lads coming through.

“That’s the sort of team I like playing in, with lads I know, when the chemistry works well.

“I think it’s going to be good for years to come, hopefully.”

As for this season, Holroyd reckons: “It is going all right, we just need to pick up a win.”

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He said: “The team seem positive and we know what we are aiming for so we are in a good place.”

Leigh are bottom of the table and have not won in 2021, in any competition.

Rhinos beat them 48-18 at Emerald Headingley six weeks ago, but Centurions pushed Hull KR all the way before losing by six points last Sunday and will be hoping to exploit Leeds’ injury problems in the pack.

“We need to go there and do a job on them,” Holroyd stressed.

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“Hopefully we do, we think we have got it in us to go and get the win and that’s what we are after.”

A third successive defeat would be a hammer blow to Rhinos’ chances of climbing into Super League’s top-six.

Holroyd said: “We need to put the wrongs right, to put us where we think we should be.

“We need to be finishing tries.

“[Against Castleford, last week] we had a lot of opportunities and if we finish them off we will be in a good place.”

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