HE HAS played on the biggest stages in world rugby league, but Adrian Morley, pictured above, admits he is “excited” about Leeds Rhinos’ pre-season game at Hunslet tomorrow.
The former Great Britain forward, a Grand Final winner in Super League and Australia’s NRL, will be in charge of Leeds’ team in his new role as academy coach.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Morley said of the Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Cup derby. “It’s new to me and though there’s going to be a lot of under-19s playing, there’s a lot of first-teamers in there so a bit of pressure comes with it.
“The only way you can learn is by taking these opportunities.
“There’s going to be a lot of help around me and a number of coaches and staff will be there giving me a hand so it’s really exciting.”
Morley said it is “great” to be back at the club where his playing career began 22 years ago.
“There’s a number of familiar faces from when I was here before and I am loving it,” he said. “It is great, it is everything I thought it would be. It is a well-run club and I am thrilled to be back part of it.”
Tomorrow will be Morley’s first chance to have a look at some of his academy charges in match action.
“It’s exciting to see how they go,” he said.
“Regardless of the fact it’s a trial game, it’s the first game of the 2017 season and no matter where you are in the packing order it is a great chance to impress.
“I’m sure that’s what they’ll all do. We’ve got a good squad with some outstanding players and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
Hunslet: Watson, Webb, Norfolk, Mvududu, Duffy, Sanderson, Ansell, Reed, Lee, Haley, Walton, Wilson, Normington. Subs: Coventry, Carbutt, Flynn, Broughton, Blakeston, Gibson, Whitehead, Thomas, Bell.
Leeds Rhinos: Chapman-Smith, Boyes, Keinhorst, Waring, Handley, L Sutcliffe, Aston, Baldwinson, Hallas, Ormondroyd, Walters, A Sutcliffe, Jordan-Roberts. Subs: Oldeski, Lilley, Whitley, Barraclough, Sunderland, Schofield.
Referee: Paul Marklove (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.