Leeds Rhinos: Decision time for Rhinos on loan stars

Jack Ormondroyd. PIC : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Jack Ormondroyd. PIC : Jonathan Gawthorpe
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BIG PROP Jack Ormondroyd is waiting to hear at which club he will finish the season.

The 25-year-old joined Leeds Rhinos from Featherstone Rovers last autumn, but has spent much of this campaign at his old side on dual-registration.

Jordan Baldwinson

Jordan Baldwinson

He was an unused substitute for Rhinos in last week’s win over St Helens and has played four times – all off the bench – for Leeds this year, with another 12 appearances coming in Rovers’ colours.

Once a player has featured in the eights section of the season he becomes club-tied and can’t play for anyone else so Rhinos’ management will have to make a decision on their Featherstone contingent, plus those on loan at Bradford Bulls. Last year Rhinos allowed Josh Walters, Jordan Baldwinson and Luke Briscoe to play for Rovers in the Qualifiers, but it could be different this year as they chase the title in the Super-8s.

“I would be surprised if Leeds let me go to Featherstone, because if they play the first week and get three or four injuries to the props they will be struggling,” Ormondroyd said.

“It would be nice to be at Leeds, but going to Featherstone and helping them out is always good and it helps me to get minutes under my belt there, so I am enjoying it.”

Josh Walters. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Josh Walters. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Ormondroyd has no regrets about joining Rhinos, despite not yet establishing himself. He stressed: “It has been good for me – just being around all the lads at Leeds has improved me. It is frustrating not getting in the team, but there are quality players above me so going to play at Featherstone has helped me massively.

“It has been good playing there, rather than just sitting here [at Leeds] and watching the games every week. Hopefully I can get some more games for Leeds. I was on the bench on Friday so I was expecting to get a bit of game time, but I didn’t get on.

“I will just keep plugging away at Featherstone and playing well and hopefully I’ll get back in the team here.”

Ormondroyd admitted the clash with St Helens was a tough experience for him. He said: “You build up – it’s not just a case of you go out on the pitch and play.

“You build yourself up the day before, get all all your nutrition right and then to get strapped up before the game and not get on is very frustrating, but I have got to keep plugging away and hopefully my time will come.”

Ormondroyd was a substitute for Featherstone against Batley Bulldogs three days ago and collected the sponsors’ man of the match award.

They led only 16-14 10 minutes into the second half, but a try by Ormondroyd turned the tide and Rovers went on to win 42-14.

“It was a tough game,” he said.

“I don’t think we were expecting as tough a game as that because they’ve not been as good this year, Batley.

“It was close at half-time and a really niggly game. I’ve not played many games like that this year.

“It is always nice to get over for a try and it was nice to come back at the end and win quite comfortably.”