Leeds Rhinos youngster Oli Field enjoying loan spell at Cornwall and keen to impress in clash with Hunslet

A spell on loan at new club Cornwall is giving Leeds Rhinos teenager Oli Field a valuable taste of first team rugby.

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 8th May 2022, 10:27 am

Field, 19, was promoted into Rhinos’ full-time squad at the start of pre-season, but has yet to make his senior debut.

Included in Leeds’ initial squad for a game for the first time ahead of last week’s win over Hull KR, Field is too old for academy rugby and has been featuring in Chev Walker’s reserves side.

But they are midway through a month-long gap between matches so Field - along with fellow reserves Joe Gibbons, Joe Hird and Mackenzie Turner - was loaned to Cornwall to gain time on the pitch.

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Oli Field. Picture by Craig Hawkhead/Leeds Rhinos.

All four featured in last week’s 50-0 Betfred League One defeat by Rochdale Hornets in Penryn and could back up against Hunslet at South Leeds Stadium on Sunday.

“It was just good to be playing,” loose-forward Field said of his competitive debut at first team level.

“Reserves games have been a bit hit and miss, playing once every three weeks, so it was just good to get a bit of game time and 80 minutes in the bank.

“It was a tough result, but you can see what Cornwall are trying to build there.

Oli Field. Picture by Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/SWpix.com.

“There were some strong parts to the game and also some weak parts, but hopefully we can build on the strong parts against Hunslet.”

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Field admitted, for the Rhinos quartet, it will be “a lot easier logistically this week”.

He said: “We travelled down on the Friday and trained on Friday afternoon, a team run kind of session and then played on the Sunday.

Cornwall coach Neil Kelly. Picture by Patrick Tod/SWpix.com.

“We’ll do the same this week, they are coming up here so we’ll do the team run on Saturday and play on Sunday.

“It has given me an opportunity to play, I have now got a run of three weeks in a row - last week, this week and a reserves game the week after - and I am just glad to be playing.”

Cornwall are coached by ex-Dewsbury Rams boss Neil Kelly and their squad includes Rhinos academy product Liam Whitton and Anthony Mullally who played in Leeds’ 2017 Grand Final win over Castleford Tigers.

“Neil has been good, he is a good coach to play under,” Field said.

“It is quite a tough job, building a club that’s not been around very long.

“It is a long-term project, but I enjoyed last weekend and I am looking forward to Sunday, to play under him again.”

Field has already played against Hunslet this year, for Rhinos in the pre-season Harry Jepson Trophy tie.

That ended in a heavy defeat and he said: “Hopefully I’ll get chance to rip in against a couple of mates and it may be an opportunity to set the record straight and right a few wrongs.”

Field has continued to train full-time with Rhinos and met new coach Rohan Smith for the first time this week.

“I’m really excited, it is sort of a new beginning,” he said.

“We are trying to build on a couple of results, he has been through some of his basic principles which are really good and might show a bit of a change.

“We don’t want to go too far away from what we’ve been doing, because the last couple of weeks it has been working and we’ve been getting wins.

“It is about building on the back of them now.”