Leeds Rhinos have clean bill of health as pre-season begins: Signings Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer and James Bentley all train with new teammates for first time

Leeds Rhinos are back in pre-season, with close to a full complement of players on the field from day one.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 6:50 pm

After an injury-ravaged year, Rhinos had close to a clean bill of health when preparations for the new campaign began at Headingley today.

Coach Richard Agar insisted: “It’s a good situation to be in.

“It is a bit of a change after we had plenty of numbers missing throughout last season - pre-season was severely disrupted and subsequently most of the season too.”

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New signing James Bentley trained with Rhinos for the first time today. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

David Fusitu’a has yet to arrive in England, but fellow new signings Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer and James Bentley were all on the field for the opening session.

Bentley, signed from St Helens, suffered a back injury at the start of September which brought his 2021 campaign to an early end, but Agar confirmed: “He is good; we have got to be careful with him, but he is pain-free.

“He’s been cleared from the specialist, we’ve just got to not put him in the heavy contact stuff for the first couple of weeks, but we’ve got no dramas with that.

“It is all pretty positive on how he is coming along.”

Coach Richard Agar makes a point at Rhinos' opening pre-season training session. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Liam Sutcliffe remains sidelined as he recovers from knee surgery and Agar said: “He is getting there - we think he will be in full training in the new year.”

England duo Kruise Leeming and Mikolaj Oledzki have yet to return from their off-season break, but academy graduates Oli Field, Jack Sinfield and Max Simpson all trained with the full-time squad for the first time.

Betfred Super League fixtures for 2022 are due to be revealed on Thursday.

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