Leeds Rhinos: Academy intake went on to become Super League stars

Leeds Rhinos signed 11 players into their academy ranks in 2006 and five went on to play in Super League - but how many of the youngsters on this picture do you recognise?

Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:24 pm

Jodie Broughton, who retired last week, was one of two signings from the Queens amateur club in Leeds, alongside Ben Jones-Bishop.

Broughton did not play a first team game for Rhinos, but appeared in the top-flight with Hull, Salford Red Devils, Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants, as well as at Championship level for Halifax and Batley.

Jones-Bishop was twice a Grand Final winner with Leeds and also played in Super League for Harlequins (on loan from Rhinos), Salford and Wakefield Trinity.

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Leeds Rhinos' new academy intake in August, 2006. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

He is now at York, alongside another of Rhinos' 2006 academy intake, Chris Clarkson.

Clarkson was a teammate of Jones-Bishop in Leeds' 2011 Grand Final win and has also featured for Widnes Vikings, Hull KR and Castleford Tigers.

Paul McShane made Super League appearances for Leeds, Hull, Widnes and Wakefield before becoming one of the competition's most influential players at Castleford Tigers.

He was Man of Steel in 2020 and is a current England international.

The most successful of the 2006 intake was Ryan Hall, who was a six-time Super League champion with Rhinos, won the Challenge Cup twice and scored 35 tries in 40 Tests for England/Great Britain.

He had two seasons in the NRL with Sydney Roosters and is now at Hull KR.

Danny Lawton left Leeds to join Keighley Cougars in 2010 and spent seven years there before moving to Hemel Stags.

Simon Brown played for a number of clubs in the lower divisions and was at Hunslet last year, while Matthew Fox had spells with Dewsbury Rams and Hunslet and Joe Howey also featured for Hunslet.

David Leeke was the youngest player to turn out for York City Knights, aged 17, when he made his professional debut in 2008.

John Elkington returned to his amateur club Milford after leaving Leeds.

Rhinos' new academy signings, who lined up for YEP photographer Jonathan Gawthorpe, were: Back row from left, Joe Howey (community club - Hunslet Parkside), John Elkington (Milford), Danny Lawton (East Leeds), Ben Jones-Bishop (Queens), Chris Clarkson (East Leeds), Ryan Hall (Oulton Raiders). Front row, Jodie Broughton (Queens), Simon Brown (Castleford Lock Lane), Paul McShane (Hunslet Parkside), David Leeke (York Acorn) and Matthew Fox (Hunslet Parkside).

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