Rhyse Martin: Leeds Rhinos star pledges to secure new long-term contract

Marksman Rhyse Martin says he “loves” Leeds Rhinos and wants to secure a longer-term contract.

By Peter Smith
Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:45 pm

The goal-kicking second-rower joined Rhinos from Canterbury Bulldogs midway through 2019 and signed a new one-year deal three months ago.

He admitted “last year probably wasn’t my best year”, but insisted: “I’m just backing myself this season to perform well and hopefully get something a bit longer at the end of this year.

“I do love the club - I do love Leeds, but we need to win games and hopefully win the big thing at the end and that will help my cause.”

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Rhyse Martin in pre-season training with Rhinos. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Martin will have added competition for his place in 2022, with James Bentley having been signed from St Helens and Morgan Gannon now established as a first-team forward.

“Ganno is a young superstar, he has got the makings to be great,” Martin said. “He’s learning and he’s a really good, hard-working trainer so he’s pushing for a spot in the team.

“Bentley’s another top player so the pressure is on to get those spots and it’s just making everyone else a better player.”

Bentley will be alongside Alex Mellor in the second-row on Sunday when Rhinos face Wakefield Trinity in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge. Martin is not included in Leeds’ initial 22-man squad, but is keen to see how Leeds’ new half-backs Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer perform.

Rhyse Martin - centre, along with Jack Broadbent, left and Bodene Thompson - delivered Christmas gifts to children at Leeds General Infirmary last week. Picture by Simon Hulme.

“They have settled in nice,” Martin said of the duo, who played together for a spell at Canberra Raiders in 2018.

“As a combination they look really crisp. We’re still building into the pre-season and getting into our structures and processes, but they are doing really well - they look exciting.”

Martin added: “Just from what we’ve seen at training already, they haven’t done too much teamwork, but we’ve done a few bits and it looks flowy and nice.

“It’s exciting, another year now and hopefully a normal one where we can prepare properly for games and not have the short breaks. Hopefully it’ll be a successful year for us.”

Of Martin’s omission from Sunday’s team, a club spokesman said he has a “minor injury [and is] not being risked”.

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