Leeds Rhinos: Wing Hall’s happy to go back to the day job

Ryan Hall.
Ryan Hall.
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NOT MANY players reveal a hidden talent after 10 years at the top level.

Ryan Hall did that by landing a touchline conversion to complete the scoring when Leeds Rhinos beat Hull KR 30-4 in his testimonial game.

It was a memorable moment for the 6,000 crowd and the England ace, but Hall revealed he has always had goalkicking in his armoury.

“I used to kick for [his amateur club] Oulton,” Hall said. “But as soon as you come to Leeds and there’s Kevin Sinfield, who’s the world’s best kicker, I didn’t see there was much point me carrying on.

“There’s a vacancy now, but we’ve got some great kickers in the team. Rob Burrow has always been good and Jordan Lilley and Liam Sutcliffe are very good as well, so I don’t think I will be throwing my hat in the ring.”

Hall didn’t get a tryscoring opportunity, but was happy to see some good signs from the team, just 20 days before their season-opening trip to St Helens. He said: “It was a strange feeling all through the day. It was obviously a lot different to a normal game, with the focus being about me.

“It was my first game in a while so I was a bit nervous at the start, but as soon as it started I built into it and it was good that the team found its feet and started playing well towards the end.

“I play rugby because it’s a team sport and I can enjoy winning with my mates. It’s not solely focused on myself. That’s how I like it – and being on the wing it’s a bit isolated at times, but I did enjoy it and as the game went on the crowd kept going, they were relentless in singing my name and that was really good of them. I can’t wait [for the new season to start], I can tell how fit and strong the lads are and how hard they’ve been working and I am really looking forward to seeing where this team can end up.”

Rhinos fielded 34 year olds Danny McGuire and Burrow as their starting half-backs and the duo looked sharp before the captain was taken off with a quad muscle problem in the second half. Hall reckons the veteran combination still have a lot to offer. He said: “They’ve always been great, that’s my point of view from playing alongside them.

“Sometimes form goes and comes and I think they’ve got responsibility this year, they’ve been told ‘six and seven’ and Rob’s really bought into that because he’s been used at hooker over the last few years, but I think he really wants to play seven. He showed that, I thought he went really well.”

Hall was also impressed by newly-arrived hooker Matt Parcell’s first appearance for Leeds. He said: “I think he’s landed on his feet a bit. The new rule means it’s going to be a lot stricter around the markers and he’s very fast.

“We encourage him to run and he showed that, when he got half a chance he ran and looked very dangerous.

“Touch wood that will only get better the more time he spends with the team.”

Travelling Leeds Rhinos fans were in fine voice in Melbourne. PIC: Brendon Ratnayake/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ

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