Leeds Rhinos: Your chance to pick this year’s Yorkshire Evening Post Shooting Star

WHO DESERVES to be crowned Leeds Rhinos’ Shooting Star of 2021?

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:49 pm
YOUNG GUNS (clockwise from top left): Jarod O'Connor, Morgan Gannon, Jack Broadbent and Tom Holroyd. Graphic: Michelle Kilner.

Today, The Yorkshire Evening Post is giving readers an opportunity to select which player receives one of Rhinos’ most prestigious annual honours.

Since it was introduced in 1998, The Yorkshire Evening Post Shooting Star award has recognised the youngster who has made the biggest impact for Rhinos over the past season.

With injuries taking their toll all campaign, a number of young players have had an opportunity at first-team level and this year’s Shooting Star shortlist is one of the strongest in the award’s history.

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Leeds Rhinos' Jarrod O'Connor Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

The latest winner will be announced at a ceremony which will be shown on Rhinos’ website this autumn and covered in your YEP.

Four players are in contention to be named YEP Shooting Star and votes from readers will determine which of them takes home the coveted prize.

This year, to be nominated, players must be aged 22 or under at the start of the season and not have made a full international appearance for one of the recognised Test-playing nations.

Previous winners of the award, claimed in 2020 by Alex Sutcliffe, have not been nominated.

IN THE MIX: Leeds Rhinos' Morgan Gannon Picture: Bruce Rollinson

This year’s candidates include one player in his first season at senior level and two who made their debut in 2020, plus another who has been on the scene since 2018.

The first nominee is outside-back Jack Broadbent, who has scored nine tries in 12 appearances, playing at full-back, centre and as a winger.

The 20-year-old, a product of the Batley Boys club, had spells on loan at Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs before making his Betfred Super League debut last season.

Selected for the derby against Wakefield Trinity in round one, he impressed across the backline before suffering an ankle injury in July, after scoring seven tries in his previous three games

Leeds Rhinos' Tom Holroyd

Broadbent returned last weekend - ahead of schedule - and grabbed an equalising touchdown in the crucial win over Hull.

Broadbent has already proved his credentials as an outstanding finisher and made some telling contributions in defence.

Our second nominee is 17-year-old second-rower Morgan Gannon, from the Siddal community club in Halifax.

Son of former Super League forward Jim Gannon, Morgan was promoted straight from Rhinos’ scholarship into the full-time squad last winter and made his first appearance in a BBC-televised Betfred Challenge Cup tie at St Helens.

Leeds Rhinos' Jack Broadbent runs in for a try against Leigh Centurions in July. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

He has played 12 games so far, completing the full 80 minutes on several occasions.

Already being tipped by some Super League experts as a future international, Gannon is skilful with the ball and solid in defence and has made an eye-catching start to his Leeds career.

Prop-forward Tom Holroyd, who made his debut in 2018, is the third nominee.

A fractured leg suffered in pre-season kept the 20-year-old out of action until June, but he has been a regular since then, making 12 appearances.

Also signed from Siddal, he played for England Academy in their Test series win over Australian Schoolboys three years ago.

Big and mobile, he is a strong runner who can hit hard in defence.

Our final nominee is 20-year-old forward Jarrod O’Connor.

Signed from Widnes Vikings’ academy in 2019, the loose-forward made his Leeds debut - as a goal-kicking hooker - last year.

Son of former Wigan and Great Britain prop Terry O’Connor, he has featured 11 times in Rhinos’ first team so far in 2021.

Though not the biggest of forwards, he has impressed Rhinos’ coaching staff with his strong-running, tough defence and willingness to put his body on the line.

To vote, please email the name of your chosen player – from our list of four nominees – to [email protected] (entering Shooting Star as the email subject).

The player receiving the most votes will win the award.

Please hurry, the closing date for votes is noon on Friday, September 10.

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