Leeds Rhinos: London experience will make me a better player says Minns

Thomas Minns
Thomas Minns
Have your say

YOUNG PROSPECT Thomas Minns says he will be a better player when he returns to Leeds Rhinos next year.

Minns – along with winger James Duckworth and second-row Alex Foster, both 20 – is spending a season at London Broncos to gain first team experience.

Broncos have lost all their 13 First Utility Super League games so far, but Minns and Foster have been regulars in their team and the centre said they are learning on and off the field.

“It is really good,” said 19-year-old Minns, who is sharing a house with his fellow Leeds exiles.

“It’s just the whole experience of playing first team week-in and week-out.

“I am learning more each day, even though the results aren’t what we’ve wanted.”

Minns made two first team appearances last year, scoring one try and will return to Rhinos next term with a full season of Super League under his belt.

He said: “I had that in mind when I went down to London.

“I was speaking to Tony Rea, who was coach at the time and he said I’d go there and play week-in and week-out.

“That’s something I looked into. There’s 27 Super League games and I’ve played in 12 so far.

“By the end of the season hopefully I will have 20-odd Super League games under my belt to go back with.

“I will hopefully keep learning from training with the first team and eventually get my chance. I will definitely be a better player next year.

“You learn from every little situation you are in, it’s gaining vital experience of what to do.

“A few times I have been startled, just by lack of experience.

“By doing it at this level with London I pick up on that and take it into the next game and learn from there.”

Minns faces a tough path into the first team at Leeds, with Joel Moon having recently signed a five-year deal and fellow centre Kallum Watkins being one of the hottest properties in the British game.

But he said: “I am a determined person and I will give it my best shot.

“Moony and Kal are absolutely on fire at the moment. Leeds have got the best outside backs in the world I would say.

“But I will go back, learn from them and give it a shot. I have got three years (on contract) there, so anything could happen.”

It has been a tough year for London, but they have shown signs of improvement under new coach Joe Grima and Minns said playing in a struggling team is part of the learning curve.

“At first I thought I might not learn much if we were losing every week,” admitted Minns, who feels Broncos are closing in on their first win.

“But when you are sitting at home you think back over your game and pick little things up and take them into the next game.

“If you make mistakes you learn from them and move on. I have had a few decent performances down there and I am just learning from the experience of playing week in-in and week-out.”

Meanwhile, former Catalan, Wigan and Hull KR half-back Michael Dobson may be heading back to Super League.

The Newcastle Knights player is understood to be in line for a move to St Helens as a replacement for Luke Walsh, who is believed to be considering returning to Australia for personal reasons.

Robert Elstone. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Hetherington hoping Elstone can bridge the gap to RFL