TEN PLAYERS have graduated into Leeds Rhinos’ academy squad from the club’s under-16s scholarship team.
The group includes five Leeds-born players, two from Wakefield and one each from Castleford, Dewsbury and Gdansk, in Poland. Five of the newly-signed group – Reece Chapman-Smith, Tom Hall, Alex Sutcliffe, Jack Walker and Harvey Whitley – are products of the Oulton Raiders community club.
Mikolaj Oledski and Dyson Nicholson came through the ranks at Hunslet Warriors, Nathan Waring is from Dewsbury Celtic, Cameron Smith was signed from Lock Lane and Spencer Darley began playing at Stanningley.
Nicholson, Oledzki and Smith were all members of the England Youth squad which faced France at Easter.
Smith, from Castleford club Lock Lane, is rated as one of the country’s brightest prospects and is set to spend the next two months playing in Australia on a trip arranged by his school, Castleford Academy, in partnership with Mackay State High School Rugby League Academy in Queensland.
He is the younger brother of Wakefield and former Leeds Rhions academy forward Daniel Smith and a nephew of ex-Castleford and Wakefield scrum-half and Wildcats coach Tony Smith.
Chapman-Smith’s father, Chris Chapman, made one substitute appearance for Rhinos in 1999.
The 10 players signed from Rhinos’ scholarship are: Reece Chapman-Smith (Full-back, 174cm, 77kg. Born: Wakefield. School: Silcoates. Club: Oulton Raiders), Spencer Darley (Second-row, 182cm, 85kg. Born: Leeds. School: Pudsey Crawshaw. Club: Stanningley), Tom Hall (Prop/second-row, 187cm, 88.5kg. Born Leeds: School: Garforth. Club: Oulton Raiders), Dyson Nicholson (Second-row, 180cm, 81kg. Born: Leeds. School: South Leeds Academy. Club: Hunslet Warriors), Mikolaj Oledzki (Prop, 189cm, 100kg. Born: Gdansk. School: Mount St Mary’s. Club: Hunslet Warriors), Cameron Smith (Loose-forward, 183.5cm, 96.5kg. Born: Pontefract. School: Castleford Academy. Club: Lock Lane), Alex Sutcliffe (Centre, 181.5cm, 76.1kg. Born: Wakefield. School: Royds. Club: Oulton Raiders), Jack Walker (Scrum-half, 174.9cm, 63kg. Born: Leeds. School: Brigshaw. Club: Oulton Raiders), Nathan Waring (Centre, 176.3cm, 73.5kg. Born: Dewsbury. School: St John Fisher. Club: Dewsbury Celtic), Harvey Whiteley (Hooker, 164cm, 77kg. Born: Leeds. School: Royds. Club: Oulton Raiders).