Hunslet ‘roll out red carpet’ for long-monitored Rhinos half-back

Joe Sanderson.
Joe Sanderson.
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Hunslet RLFC have signed 19-year-old, goal-kicking half-back Joe Sanderson from Leeds Rhinos.

The Drighlington ARLFC product signed for Rhinos in 2013 and established himself as first-choice half-back in the Academy. Sanderson played a key role for the Under-19s in 2016 as they reached the Academy semi-final before eventually losing out to Wigan Warriors.

He made 19 appearances in 2016, scoring 13 tries and kicking 102 goals with an 88 per cent successful conversion rate.

Director of rugby Darren Williams said: “The signing of Joe is a real coup for the club. When Gary Hetherington (Leeds Rhinos CEO) made us aware of his availability we took a keen interest in monitoring his performances in 2016.

“It was clear that he was a real talent and myself and James (Coyle)quickly identified him as a player we wanted to bring to Hunslet.

“We have worked hard as a club to secure his signature to bring him to south Leeds and we are delighted to finally have him as a Hunslet player.

“In terms of his attributes, his goal and field kicking are exceptional, and his support play and running game make him a real threat with the ball. He can also score tries from anywhere on the park.

“It’s a great signing for the club following the signature of Nyle Flynn and just the type of player we are looking to attract to the club with age on their side to develop.”

Sanderson added: “I’m really pleased to have signed for Hunslet. It’s obviously going to be a massive step up from being in the academy at Leeds to playing against men in League 1, but I’m really excited by the challenge.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the boys and getting stuck in to pre-season. I hope with a solid pre-season under my belt I can then push on to get plenty of game time in 2017.

“It will be a big challenge for me but I’m ready to work hard and hopefully have a big year with Hunslet.”