Leeds Rhinos: Five overseas ‘misfits’ who didn’t quite cut the mustard in Super League

Joe Vickery touching down against Wakefield Trinity in the 2012 festive challenge. PIC: Steve Riding
Joe Vickery touching down against Wakefield Trinity in the 2012 festive challenge. PIC: Steve Riding
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SOME OF the best players in Leeds Rhinos’ history have been signed from overseas, but not every import is a success. Here we select five from the Super League era whose career at Rhinos did not work out as planned.

1: Joe Vickery. The former Gold Coast Titans winger was signed after scoring two tries as a trialist in the 2012 Boxing Day clash with Wakefield Trinity. He made his competitive debut in the World Club Challenge against NRL champions Melbourne Storm, but never looked comfortable at Super League level and was released after scoring one try in 10 appearances.

Brett Mullins went on to win an NRL Grand Final after his unsuccessful stint at Headingley. PIC: Mark Bickerdike

Brett Mullins went on to win an NRL Grand Final after his unsuccessful stint at Headingley. PIC: Mark Bickerdike

2: Brett Mullins. Having played for New South Wales and Australia, big things were expected from the ex-Canberra Raiders full-back, but he seemed to spend more time on the treatment table than the field. He managed only 12 appearances, scoring four tries – two of those in a club record 106-10 Challenge Cup win at Swinton – in 2001 before returning to Australia where, remarkably, he went on to win a Grand Final with Sydney Roosters.

3: Paul Bell. Brought in by new coach Dean Lance in 2000 to add experience to Rhinos’ three-quarters, his Rhinos career amounted to just four games. The former Perth and Melbourne Storm centre suffered a dislocated shoulder in a Challenge Cup tie against Dewsbury Rams and, after being ruled out for the rest of the season, was released from his contract.

4: Ben Cross. The Australian front-rower joined Rhinos from Newcastle Knights – having been recommended to Leeds by Danny Buderus – in 2011. He had played almost 100 games in the NRL and for New South Wales, but new coach Brian McDermott wasn’t impressed and after only 10 appearances the 32-year-old was released. He joined Wigan Warriors and later Widnes Vikings.

5: Bradley Clyde. One of the world’s best players on his day, at 31 Clyde was past his peak when he signed for Leeds – along with Mullins – for the 2001 season. He played well when he had the chance, particularly in a Challenge Cup win at the Boulevard, but was hampered by injury and lasted only one season. He played 15 times, scoring seven tries, before calling it a day.

One of the world's best players on his day but 'Bradley Clyde probably signed for Leeds too late in his career. PIC: Steve Riding

One of the world's best players on his day but 'Bradley Clyde probably signed for Leeds too late in his career. PIC: Steve Riding