AUSTRALIAN DUO Keith Galloway and Adam Cuthbertson have been handed two of Leeds Rhinos’ most iconic squad numbers.
The pair will take over as Leeds’ top-ranked props following the retirement of club legends Kylie Leuluai and Jamie Peacock at the end of last season.
Galloway, who is set to link up with Rhinos next week, will wear the No 8 jersey next season, with Cuthbertson taking over No 10.
Galloway has signed for Rhinos from NRL outfit Wests Tigers on a three-year contract.
The 30-year-old gained five caps with Australia in 2011 and has made one State of Origin appearance for New South Wales.
He featured in 22 of Wests’ 26 matches last year and has more than 200 NRL games under his belt, with Wests and Cronulla Sharks, since making his debut as a 17-year-old schoolboy in 2003.
He takes over the number allocated to Leuluai since 2007, when the former Manly front-rower joined Leeds.
Cuthbertson, who was a Man of Steel nominee last season and the rugby league writers’ and broadcasters’ player of the year, will be only the fourth player to wear No 10 for Leeds in the Super League era, following Harveyt Howard (1996), Barrie McDermott (1997-2005) and Peacock (2006-2015). The new front-row pairing have a hard act to follow.
Leuluai was the most successful import in Leeds’ history, winning six Super League titles and the league leaders’ shield, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge twice each, while Peacock is rated the club’s finest signing, having had similar success since moving from Bradford Bulls a decade ago.
Cuthbertson said he is “honoured” to have taken over as Rhinos’ new No 10 and insisted the treble-winners can go on to more glory, despite losing some of their biggest names.
“It is a huge honour and privilege to be awarded the 10 shirt after the legend that is Jamie Peacock,” said the ball-handling former Newcastle Knights pack man.
“Last season was incredible for me in my first year at the club and I am so excited about the potential for this group of players next season.
“We have recruited well with Anthony Mullally, Jordan Baldwinson and Keith Galloway all coming in to strengthen our pack and Beau Falloon arriving from the Gold Coast.
“On top of that we have got some great youngsters who will help drive us on.
“There is a huge appetite within the squad to build on last season and I am very much looking forward to being part of that.”
Galloway could make his debut when Rhinos begin their pre-season campaign at home to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in a month’s time.
Fellow recruit Falloon, who has been allocated the No 9 jersey, is also due to make his first Leeds appearance in the traditional Boxing Day fixture.