Jack Broadbent: Leeds Rhinos star reflects on breakthrough year as he prepares for England Knights showdown with Jamaica
Leeds Rhinos prospect Jack Broadbent admits he could not have hoped for a better breakthrough year.
The 20-year-old scored nine tries in 14 appearances for Rhinos and is in the England Knights squad for tonight’s Jordan Turner testimonial game against Jamaica at Castleford.
Broadbent made his Leeds debut last season - following spells in the Betfred Championship with Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs - and only a two-month injury layoff kept him out of the team this term.
“This year has probably kick-started my career,” he said.
“I could not have asked for a better year.
“I had a bit of an injury, but you have got to face them and it is character building.
“You have got to face some downs as well as the highs.
“Take that out and I might have got a couple more games.
“That’s the only way my year could have been better, but I am absolutely buzzing to be playing regular first team rugby.”
A specialist centre, Broadbent has also featured at full-back, on a wing and in the halves.
“I’ve only played two games in my actual position,” he reflected.
“Obviously knowing numerous roles, it has got me a lot more games.
“It is something to have in my armoury, so I am happy with that.”
After scoring in Super League round one, Broadbent had to wait two months for his next touchdown.
He then ran in eight tries in three matches and recalled: “I was really happy with that.
“It is always good to get over, but my tries were pretty much walk-ins.
“The work was done by everyone else, but I’ll take them.”
Broadbent is one of four Rhinos players in a young Knights squad, alongside Tom Holroyd, Morgan Gannon and Levi Edwards.
Selections have mainly been made with the 2025 World Cup in mind and Broadbent admitted: “When it gets to the end of the year and you get a phone call off [Knights coach] Paul Anderson, it’s a bit surreal.
“I am really buzzing and I can’t wait [for tonight].
“There’s a lot of familiar faces in the squad, most of the lads have been playing regular Super League this year.
“I think our average age is 21 so it is a team for the future.
“It is about building and getting us ready for 2025.
“This is a long-term plan, we’ve got a good group and I think we can go on and do some good things.
“It is good they are not just looking at the now, they are thinking about the younger players.
“It is really promising and it’s a good time to be a young player in the England set up.”
The Knights with members of the full England squad - including Leeds’ Harry Newman, Kruise Leeming and Mikolaj Oledzki - at Emerald Headingley on Tuesday.
“The seniors got on with us really well,” Broadbent said.
“They gave us a few tips and it’s good to get among them and get your face known.”
Though Jamaica’s squad for tonight includes only three Super League players, Broadent is expecting a genuine test.
“They absolutely love playing for their country, but so do we,” he pledged.
“It is going to be a really serious game.
“We have a point to prove and we want to put our foot forward for the future.
“We know Shaun Wane and the coaching staff will be watching so we want to go out and do our best.
“They have a lot of experience in their team and they’ll try to exploit that, but we think with our energy and enthusiasm, from a young side, we can get the better of them.”
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