Leeds Rhinos' offer pre-season training chance to ex-Harlequins and Bath rugby union forward
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Lewis Boyce, 27, is a graduate of the former Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union academy and played for their senior side from 2014-2017, when they were based at AMT Headingley. He linked up with Rhinos last week, at the start of pre-season.
Boyce left Ealing Trailfinders at the end of the 2022-23 campaign and the arrangement allows him to keep fit and gain a taste of rugby league, while also boosting Rhinos’ numbers in the early stages of pre-season. At this stage, there is no suggestion he will sign for the Betfred Super League side.
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “He doesn’t have a rugby union club at the moment, he is out of contract and so free to do whatever he wants. His agent contacted Rohan [Smith, Leeds’ coach] who invited him to come and train on a week to week basis.
It’s nothing more permanent than that at the moment and we’ll just see how it goes with him. Rugby league has always appealed to him and he is now free to have a go if he wants.”
Born in Middlesbrough and a former pupil at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, Boyce joined Harlequins six years ago, moved to Bath in 2019 and joined Ealing on a short-term deal in April, 2023.
The loosehead-prop won the under-20 World Cup with England in 2016 and was called into the full squad ahead of the 2018 Six Nations, though he did not earn a senior cap.
He is the latest in a number of rugby union players, including Welsh winger Kyle Evans and forward Huw Worthington, to be offered a chance to train with Rhinos in recent seasons, though none has so far gone on to make a Super League appearance for them.
Meanwhile, Leeds have been linked with a move for winger Lee Kershaw who has scored 18 tries in 50 appearances since making his debut for Wakefield Trinity four years ago.