Leeds Rhinos youngster Jack Broadbent stakes Super League claim

Young prospect Jack Broabent is relishing showing Richard Agar what he can do at Betfred Super League level.

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 6:00 am
Jack Broadbent on the attack during his Super League debut against Catalans Dragons a month ago. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Broadbent, who will turn 20 on Sunday, made his debut for Rhinos against Catalans Dragons a month ago and also featured in meetings with Warrington Wolves and St Helens. Rhinos’ young side lost all three, but Broadbent feels the experience was invaluable.

“It has been really good, being in the first team,” he said. “Obviously it is a big test for us young players, but we are really enjoying it, we are thriving on it.

“We took the experience from the Catalans game and put in a really good effort against a good Warrington side and Saints are at the top of the table and we put another outstanding effort in.”

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He added: “For me, I have played in a couple of positions and I am gaining experience, playing alongside the senior players. Players like Donno [James Donaldson] led us really well [against Saints] and Brett Ferres and Cuthbo [Adam Cuthbertson], who played in the other games, are showing us the way.

“We are bringing the enthusiasm and going for it. I think it will set us in really good stead.

“With all the young players playing at once, we have to have each other’s back and put 100 per cent in every week.

“We have to go out and be really tough and train really well and I think we have been doing that.

“Long-term it is only going to benefit us because we are gaining this experience early and in the future if we are all playing together we have got these bonds formed already.”

Broadbent had limited first team experience at a lower level last year, having scored two tries in three games on dual-registration for Featherstone Rovers before an 11-match loan spell at his hometown club Batley Bulldogs, when he added three more touchdowns.

“It has been a massive step up,” he said of Super League. “It is more the speed of the game, you have obviously got the contact side of it in the Championship, but it has stepped up another level with the contact and the speed. Any little blip and they find you and you have got to work twice as hard.”

Having played as a half-back in his junior days, Broadbent confirmed: “My preferred position is centre. I played there against Warrington, but stand-off again the other night [at Saints]. I enjoy playing there, Cal [Callum McLelland] runs the team about and I play off the back of him.”

Though Agar has named an unchanged squad for tomorrow’s derby against Wakefield Trinity, with fixtures coming thick and fast young players, including Broadbent, could get more chances before the season ends next month.

“I am going to try as hard as I can to push for a position, whatever that might be,” he said. “I want to play my part for the team because it is going to be a massive effort for us to get a top-four spot. It will take a full squad effort so we are all sticking our hand up and all trying our hardest to get a spot and prove to Rich we can do it.”

Broadbent began training with Leeds’ first team last year, after finishing college.

“We are in and around the best team, they have just won the Challenge Cup and we get to learn off them every day,” he said.

“You can’t get any better than that.”

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