HALF-BACK hopeful Jordan Lilley is excited by his potential partnership with new Leeds Rhinos recruit Richie Myler.
Lilley will play alongside Myler – the former England and Warrington Wolves star who has been signed from Catalans Dragons – when Rhinos visit Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day.
The pair have been working together since training resumed last month and Lilley said: “It’s going really well, he is a top lad and he’s teaching me a lot of things and different things I’ve had to adapt to my game.”
Of Myler’s influence, he added: “He has that support game in him and that is rubbing off on me in training. He is constantly talking to me and we’ve been working on some different combinations and things like that.
“I am looking forward to getting on the field and putting things into practice. He has been around the block a few times and played a lot of games in Super League.
“He has got that experience and those leadership skills. That’ll rub off on me eventually. That’s the way I am, I am quite vocal and talkative and for him to come in and be like he has – very talkative – is great. It’s good for the lads to hear it and obviously great for me.”
Tuesday’s game will bring the curtain down on a tough 2017 for Lilley, 21, who played only nine competitive games for Leeds and spent most of the season on loan at Bradford Bulls.
“It is going to be tough this season,” he predicted. “There’s Moony [Joel Moon], Richie and myself so there’s three of us and only two half-backs on the field at once.
“For me, I have to put a good performance in and create some headaches for Brian [McDermott, Rhinos’ coach] and hopefully get myself a starting shirt.
“I am looking forward to it. It should be good to get back out there after just doing six weeks of running and fitness. It will be good to get back out there with the boys and hopefully put into practice what we’ve been learning.”
He has that support game in him and that is rubbing off on me in training. He is constantly talking to meJordan Lilley on new team-mate Jordan Lilley
Rhinos have opened their pre-season campaign on Boxing Day since rugby league shifted to summer 21 years ago, but next week will be their first festive match on the road, due to building work at Emerald Headingley.
Lilley admitted: “We are used to being at home in front of a packed crowd in freezing conditions; it’ll be different, but it’s going to be good. I am sure all the fans will turn out and it’ll be a good day and a good challenge.”
Wakefield will be bidding for a third successive win in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge. Lilley warned: “They are a good side.
“I think sometimes people write them off, but they have got a good team and they are coached well. They have recruited well and it’ll be good to see [ex-Rhinos prop] Jordan Baldwinson.
“We keep in touch and I know he’s looking forward to playing against his mates. It is going to be a tough day out, but it’ll be a good learning curve for the younger boys who get a chance to play.”