Leeds Rhinos pre-season begins, here's who's back at training and when others will return
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Preparations began today (Monday), 45 days on from Rhinos’ 46-0 victory over Castleford Tigers in their final game of the previous campaign.
Leeds hosted the end of the English season last weekend, England’s men and women facing Tonga and Wales in a Test double-header at AMT Headingley on Saturday, the day before the wheelchair side took on France at the First Direct Arena.
Betfred Super League fixtures for 2024 will be revealed later this month. Rhinos have confirmed one pre-season game so far, at home to Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day.
All members of last season’s squad who are still with the club reported back today, other than internationals Harry Newman and Rhyse Martin. Newman has been given time off following England duty while Martin is also away after captaining Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Championships.
The club’s new overseas recruits are not yet allowed to train because of visa regulations. Half-back Brodie Croft and hooker Andy Ackers, who were signed last month from Salford Red Devils, are due to begin at Leeds next week.
Fellow recruits Lachie Miller (from Newcastle Knights), Matt Frawley (Canberra Raiders) and Mickael Goudemand (Catalans Dragons) could join their new side in two weeks’ time, though that hasn’t been confirmed. Former Sydney Roosters centre Paul Momirovski will not arrive in England until the new year.
Coach Rohan Smith admitted he will make some changes following his first pre-season with Leeds last year. He said: “Every season is different, in the middle of October last year we were playing an international team and we had seven or eight players in the World Cup so we used the opportunity to expose players to different positions and pre-season games for young guys.
“There's definitely some things we'll do differently but we'll be a vastly different squad. I'm very excited by the roster, but also the staff we have. Almost everyone was in a new role [last year], so we're a better unit moving forward.”