Leeds Rhinos: Latest loan move designed to give Lilley chance to lead Leeds in long term

Jordan Lilley. PIC: Steve Riding
Jordan Lilley. PIC: Steve Riding
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YOUNG HALF-BACK Jordan Lilley still has a future at Leeds Rhinos, director of rugby Kevin Sinfield says.

Lilley has joined Bradford Bulls on a loan deal lasting until the end of next season and could feature in Sunday’s first versus second Betfred League One clash with York City Knights at Odsal.

Leeds Rhinos director of rugby, Kevin Sinfield. PIC: Tony Johnson

Leeds Rhinos director of rugby, Kevin Sinfield. PIC: Tony Johnson

The 21-year-old signed a new three-year contract with Leeds 12 months ago and will have a year remaining on that when the arrangement with Bradford expires. Lilley made his Rhinos debut in 2015 and played 24 times the following year, winning the Yorkshire Evening Post Shooting Star award as the club’s most impressive young player,

He featured only nine times last year – when he played 12 times on loan for Bradford – and in four games for Leeds this season. Bulls will be his fourth club in 2018 after a dual-registration spell with Featherstone Rovers and loan at Leigh Centurions.

“We need to put his development first,” Sinfield said. “We feel at this stage of Jordan’s development it’s best if he goes away for a period of time to run a team, get great at that and then hopefully he will come back to us and run our team.”

Sinfield added: “His Leeds career is certainly not over. If this goes to plan he will take his place with us for the 2020 season and hopefully he’ll be in a position then to run our team.”