NEXT YEAR will be a case of evolution rather than revolution for Leeds Rhinos, back-rower Carl Ablett says.
Rhinos’ side will look very different without Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai.
But Ablett insisted it will be a case of building on the achievements of this season’s team, rather than making huge changes to the way they do things. He said: “It is going to be evolution next year anyway, with the legends of the club who are leaving. They are big shoes to fill, but we need to carry on what they have left.
“They have set high standards at this club and it’s important we carry that on.
“For the players who are still here it is going to be an exciting year and we are looking forward to it.”
Rhinos were written off before this season began and again last month, after losing three successive matches.
But Ablett denied that outside opinion was a major motivation.
“We’ve done it for ourselves,” he said of the Grand Final victory over Wigan Warriors which completed a clean sweep of domestic trophies.
“People can say what they want. At times after the Challenge Cup we weren’t great, but we still had that belief.
“We never lost that – we always knew a performance was just around the corner.”
Ablett, who will turn 30 in December, has now won six Grand Finals and he admitted: “It has probably not sunk in yet.
“I think what I’ve achieved is something I will look back on when I have finished playing. It is a really special group I have been involved in and I feel lucky to be part of.
“The history we have created and the things we’ve won is testament to every single member of the squad.
“To be able to achieve the treble, to be consistent enough to be top of the league and then to go on and win trophies, it is special.”