THE DUAL-REGISTRATION system may be controversial, but it is working for Leeds Rhinos youngster Harry Newman and his temporary club Featherstone Rovers.
Newman, 18, was called up by Featherstone as cover for the suspended Misi Taulapapa last month and has scored eight tries in five appearances, including a brace in last weekend’s win at Barrow Raiders.
Newman’s tries have contributed to Rovers’ climb into second place on the Betfred Championship table and he is gaining valuable experience playing at a good standard.
As far as the Huddersfield-born centre is concerned, it is a win-win situation. He said: “I’m very happy, I got a try on my debut (against Batley Bulldogs), then we played Toronto and I didn’t score, but since then I’ve got seven in my last three games, including a hat-trick.
“It is going really well and I am enjoying it. I have really settled in now and I’m getting on with everyone.”
Newman became the first player born this century to appear in Betfred Super League when he made his Rhinos debut away to Wigan Warriors last July.
He has also played once in the top-flight this season, in a defeat at Widnes Vikings, but believes the Championship is a good school.
“I am getting experience playing against some full-time teams,” he said.
“The physicality of it, playing against men every week, is what I need.
“I have played a few games for the (Rhinos’) academy this year, but I am enjoying it at Fev and it’s more of a challenge for me and it is going really well.”
Obviously I am pushing for a spot at Leeds, but I wouldn’t mind staying at Fev for the rest of the year, picking up the experience and game time.Harry Newman
Dual-registration is similar to a loan, but done on a game-by-game basis rather than for a specific number of weeks.
Newman is playing alongside seasoned professionals of the quality of Martyn Ridyard and former England star Gareth Hock, but also training through the day at Leeds.
“I train with Fev on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, if I get picked,” he said. “But I am still at Leeds every day, with the lads, so that’s good – getting experience at both places.
“Obviously I am pushing for a spot at Leeds, but I wouldn’t mind staying at Fev for the rest of the year, picking up the experience and game time.”
Centre is a strong position for Rhinos. As well as England man Kallum Watkins, Ash Handley has made a successful switch from the wing and that led to Jimmy Keinhorst joining Widnes Vikings on loan last week.
Liam Sutcliffe will also be pushing for a place when he recovers from a foot injury and Newman said: “It is good, it is a challenge for everyone.
“You have to be playing well to get picked.”
Watkins has been outstanding for Leeds since being named captain at the start of this season and Newman said training alongside one of the world’s best centres can only improve his game.
“He is a big influence,” Newman admitted. “I do a few extras with him at training. It is great having players like that around.”