BEING TEMPORARILY homeless for training is not having a major bearing on Leeds Rhinos, according to rising star Brad Singleton.
Rhinos have had to use training facilities across the city since Boxing Day, when their Kirkstall headquarters and pitches were flooded.
It is likely to be May before staff can return to the site and the training pitches could be out of action for even longer.
But Singleton hailed Rhinos’ backroom staff for the way they have handled the situation and said nobody can use it as an excuse for being below their best.
“It is hardly a problem,” Singleton said. “Davo (head of athletic performance Jason Davidson) has got it all planned.
“Of course it is not ideal. We want to be at Kirkstall, we want to be at one spot, but the coaching staff have been awesome.
“We know exactly where we are the week before, we get a schedule, so that’s not going to be an issue. I don’t think there’s going to be any excuses for anything this year.”
Singleton was one of Rhinos’ top performers in last week’s First Utility Super League round one loss to Warrington Wolves.
“Pre-season went well and I think I am where I want to be at this time of the year,” he said. “It was a good hit-out last week and it went all right for me personally.
“I have got things to build on, obviously, but there were a few things I could take from it.” One of the positives for Singleton was his try. That took his Rhinos tally to 12 in 77 games and added to the nine he scored last year.
“I was thinking because of how many I got last year I’ll probably get zero for the next couple of years now,” he admitted. “It was nice to score, but it would have been nicer to get the win. It was just a shame we didn’t get the result.”
Rhinos have brought Singleton on slowly since his debut in 2011. He made just one substitute appearance in each of his first two seasons at the club, but began to get more game time in 2013 and was an integral member of the team last year, missing just two matches.
But he insisted: “I wouldn’t say I am established (in the team). For me, I just want to go into that next week and get in that side, that’s all.
“That is my goal, then I just want to play well. I say to myself each year I just want to build on it. The experience is obviously growing, so I just want to feel better and better and more and more confident.”
Singleton is one of the new generation Rhinos hope will lead them to more success over the next decade.
This is a transitional year following the departure of Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai and Singleton said: “I think it’s pretty exciting for myself and a lot of the boys.
“Everyone has got different motives and different stories and if we are all reading off the same page I think we have got a really good pack.” That will be tested on Sunday away to a big, physical Widnes Vikings side.
“Last year we got beat there and it was a bit of a shock to us,” Singleton recalled.
“How they started and how they played, we didn’t match it at all.
“We just need to get ready and be tough. After what we did last year we know we are going to see the best of every team this season, so it is going to be tough for us.”