BRAD SINGLETON is determined to be the one Leeds Rhinos turn to when their veteran props finally call it quits.
Jamie Peacock, 37 and Kylie Leuluai, 36, are both expected to hang up their boots this autumn, leaving a huge hole in Rhinos’ squad.
“I think it’s obvious there’s an opportunity, with two props retiring at the end of the year,” Singleton said. “Especially having been here so long, I want to put myself in the frame to cement a spot at Leeds Rhinos.”
Singleton has been tipped as the potential long-term successor to Peacock and admitted: “It is a personal goal, but I just want to be in the team.
“It is obviously up to Mac (coach Brian McDermott) and Gary (Hetherington, Rhinos’ chief executive) to decide who gets the No 10 jersey when JP (Peacock) retires, but I want to be there at the end of the year, the first forward on the teamsheet.
“Hopefully I will work hard to put myself in the frame for that.”
Singleton, 22, made his Rhinos debut in 2011 and has 42 senior appearances to his credit, 24 of those last year.
He is aiming to build on that this term – starting at Hull KR on Sunday – and said: “You have to play and you have to play well. It’s not just a case of playing and being half-hearted in any way.
“The whole of this year is going to be a very intense throughout the whole league and every player is going to be playing for their shirt and playing to stay in Super League.
“That’s the main thing, but we are aiming for the top-four spot, to get into the play-offs.”
Whoever eventually replaces Leuluai and Peacock will have big shoes to fill.
“It is a challenge,” Singleton said.
“To fill JP’s spot is going to be unbelievably hard.
“If anybody does a 10th of what he has done they will have had a successful career, but that is a massive challenge for anyone, to put their hand up. I believe I am capable of being ready to cement my spot here.”
Singleton added: “I’ve been attending finals since I was nine. I have been watching them win trophies and I want to be part of it. I want to be winning them too. I’ve had the experience of playing at other clubs, like Hunslet and Dewsbury.
“It has been a big learning experience.
“And now I just want to make sure I am in the Leeds first team.
“I have been here since I was 16 and I am now 22 so I don’t think it’s right if someone says I am a prospect now.
“I need to be out there and getting recognised for being a prop.
“That is my true position. I know I am young, but I feel I am capable of it.”