Leeds Rhinos young gun Jack's the lad to watch for this year - Batley product Broadbent aims for more Super League experience
Jack Broadbent is a name to watch out for in Betfred Super League this year.
According to Leeds Rhinos’ assistant-coach Sean Long, the 20-year-old centre has been “flying” in pre-season training.
Broadbent got his first taste of Super League last year, playing three times when Rhinos’ full-strength side was rested before or after Coral Challenge Cup ties.
The youngster, from Batley, caught the eye despite playing out of position at stand-off and, with a full pre-season under his belt, is keen for more opportunities in 2021.
“Having waited and waited for that chance to play and then finally getting it, it was an amazing feeling,”Broadbent recalled.
“It kind of gives you more motivation in pre-season because you know what you’re working for and what it means to play for the club.
“Obviously I am working as hard as I can to try and get as many more games in the first team as I can.”
Broadbent is not daunted by the quality of players ahead of him in Rhinos’ backline.
“Obviously there is competition for positions and good players, but also it gives me the best chance to learn from them,” he stated.
“Although I might not get as many games now, when it comes to my chance I’ve got players who are at the top of the game who I am training with and learning from each day.
“I might have to wait my time, but I think it will give me an advantage.”
Though his debut came at stand-off, at home to Catalans Dragons last September, that is not where he sees his long-term future.
He reflected: “I probably played my best game at centre, against Warrington.
“I have played the majority of my time at Leeds, through the scholarship and academy in the centre.
“That is probably my strongest position, but honestly, as long as I am pulling a shirt on I don’t mind where I play.
“I have played anywhere, from one to seven.”
Rhinos yesterday suspended training for five days after six players and one member of staff tested positive for coronavirus, but Broadbent reckons a lot has been achieved in the three weeks of pre-season so far.
“It has been really good,” he said.
“We have got some new philosophies, a different strength and conditioner and a new focus and I think the players are really buying into it.”
The experience of being part of Rhinos’ full-time squad last year has helped Broadbent this time around, he believes.
He graduated into the senior squad after playing in the Championship on dual-registration at Featherstone Rovers and loan with Batley Bulldogs and insisted: “Having a pre-season under your belt, coming in knowing what is expected and what you can build on, it really gives you a step forward.
“It really helps me knowing what it is going to be like, I know what is coming.”
Long’s arrival on the coaching staff has been another bonus.
Broadbent said: “He came in a couple of times last pre-season and did the odd session with us.
“Having him just for two sessions last year really helped us.
“With him being one of the best in his position for St Helens, his knowledge of rugby and the little things you probably wouldn’t pick up on, he is feeding all that to us. We are going in with open ears and learning something every day. He is really helping me.”
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