Leeds Rhinos: Aussie star Joel Moon keen to be No6 next year

Joel Moon.
Joel Moon.
Share this article
Have your say

IN-FORM AUSSIE Joel Moon says he would be happy to take over as Leeds Rhinos’ No 6 next year.

Originally a centre, Moon had a spell at stand-off in the 2016 Qualifiers and has been in the halves for all but five of his 22 starts this term.

With Danny McGuire – who has worn Leeds’ No 6 jersey since 2003 – on his way to Hull KR at the end of the season, Moon looks set to form a new-look combination with recruit Richie Myler next year.

He said he has yet to discover what coach Brian McDermott’s plans are for him going into 2018, but confirmed stand-off is now his favoured role.

“I’ve been playing there more than in the centres,” said the 29-year-old former Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors and Salford man.

“That’s where Mac sees me and it has been working for the team and for me.

“I am enjoying it, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen next year – it is up to the team and what’s best for the team and what Mac thinks.

“This season it’s working and I think that’s how this season will go ahead, but we’ve not really spoken about next year.”

Jimmy Keinhorst’s emergence as a top-quality three-quarter means Moon could remain at stand-off without Leeds having to recruit in the centres.

“I like six,” Moon added. “You get your hands on the ball more.

“At centre sometimes you can go 10 minutes without touching the ball, so I enjoy it at stand-off.”

Moon will be up against England’s possible World Cup stand-off George Williams in tonight’s final game of the regular Betfred Super League season at Wigan Warriors, where he will partner 20-year-old scrum-half Jordan Lilley.

Rhinos have already sealed second place going into the Super-8s and Moon described their climb up the table as a “massive turnaround from last year”.

He said: “That’s what we wanted to do.

“Fingers crossed we can keep that up and keep going forward and get some more good wins.

“We are not thinking about where we are in the table, we just want to win every game and it [tonight] is about getting some form going into the eights.”

Rhinos will field an under-strength team with 13 players injured or not being risked ahead of next weekend’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull.

But Moon insisted: “We just want to play tough and have a good game. Nothing changes this week. We want to go there and win. We want to put into plan what we practice at training going forward.

“I don’t think we will be taking our foot off the throttle any time soon.”

Rhinos have not won at Wigan since September, 2013 and Moon added: “It is a tough place to play and Wigan are always tough.

“They have found some form lately and they are always a hard team to play. They will be doing everything they can to get the win too.”

Richie Myler

Widnes Vikings 23 Leeds Rhinos 6: Trip and injuries take toll on Leeds