Leeds Rhinos: It’s all about game time admits ace Keinhorst

Jimmy Keinhorst.
Jimmy Keinhorst.
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LEEDS RHINOS’ German international Jimmy Keinhorst insists he is more concerned about being in the team than which position he fills.

Keinhorst began the season playing for Hunslet Hawks on dual-registration, but has featured in Rhinos’ last six games and been one of the team’s form players in that run.

A specialist centre, Keinhorst has also started three times in the second-row, earning praise from coach Brian McDermott and his team-mates for a series of hard-working displays.

Asked whether he is now a centre or back-rower, Keinhorst said: “A bit of both at the moment. I am just fitting in wherever picked. I have played a few games in the back-row and enjoyed it. I was back in the centre last week, so we will see this week.

“I am not sure where I’ll be playing, if selected, but I am happy to fit in and do whatever job I am asked to. If I can come up with a good performance, that builds my confidence up and gets a bit of consistency going. The idea is to be consistent and just perform well each week. That’s what I am aiming for.”

Keinhorst, who turned 25 on Tuesday, made his Rhinos debut in 2012, but had played only 16 first team games for Leeds before this year and admitted he has reached the stage of his career when he needs to be establishing himself in the side.

“I’ve been here a few years now and I’ve been on loan and dual-reg at Wakefield and Hunslet,” he recalled. “If I can get a run of games now in the first team, that will be good for me. I want to be playing with Leeds and be part of what we can achieve.”

Keinhorst has been included in Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad for tomorrow’s visit of Salford Red Devils.

Salford need two points to have any hope of qualifying for the Super-8s and it is also a must-win game for Rhinos as they aim for top spot at the end of the regular campaign.

“We’re just treating it like we do every game and we’ll be going out and trying to get the points,” Keinhorst said. “Looking at what they did (against Hull KR) last weekend, we can’t take them lightly.

“It is going to be a tough game, but we’ll be ready for what they’re going to throw at us.”

Rhinos are looking to bounce back from last Thursday’s last-gasp 26-24 defeat at Wigan Warriors. Keinhorst added: “It was disappointing, especially the way we lost it in the last couple of minutes, but I think the damage had been done in the first half. We went behind before the break and I thought we gave it a good effort in the second half, but ultimately we came up short because of the first half performance. We need a big improvement this week. We’ve looked at things we can improve and get stronger for the coming rounds and hopefully we can put another couple of good performances together before we go into the Super-8s. We want to go into that in good form and hopefully keep up in the top-four. We’re looking to build some momentum and that starts on Friday.”