Versatile Briscoe joins Wildcats as Keinhorst loan hits a snag

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Leeds Rhinos’ former England academy utility-back Luke Briscoe is set to spend the 2014 campaign at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

But centre Jimmy Keinhorst’s loan move to Rhinos’ Super League neighbours hit an 11th hour snag last night.

Keinhorst – who recently signed a new three-year Rhinos contract – was understood to have agreed to the season-long loan, but then had a change of mind over the terms of the deal.

The 23-year-old German international has scored six tries in 15 senior appearances for Leeds and was a substitute in the 2012 Challenge Cup final. Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “I met with Jimmy and we had agreed he could go to Wakefield on a season-long loan.

“He was due to meet with Wakefield’s coach Richard Agar yesterday and I expected the arrangement to be completed, but it has not been concluded yet.”

Hetherington and Agar remain keen to see both loan deals to through.

“We see both Jimmy and Luke as having a future with us going forward,” Hetherington said.

“But they are both at the stage of their career where they need as much Super League experience as possible.”

Hetherington – whose wife Kath is consultant chief executive at Wildcats – added: “Jimmy is just coming back from a fairly lengthy shoulder injury.

“He made an impact before the injury and he’ll be fully fit in the next few weeks.

“We see him as a good quality Super League player, but given the numbers we’ve got in our

backline there’s an obvious benefit to him, Wakefield and us long-term if he can get some more Super League experience under his belt.”

Of Briscoe, 19, who featured in the Boxing Day game between Leeds and Wakefield, Gary Hetherington said: “He missed pretty much the whole of last year with a back injury.

“That was unfortunate because he was making really good progress and would certainly have played in our first team, given the injuries we had, if he’d been available.

“He is raring to go now and he can play a number of positions. He will be a good asset to Wakefield and from our point of view he will be getting good experience.”

Wildcats coach Richard Agar feels the loans would benefit all concerned.

“We are happy with our top 17, but we need some depth and competition for places,” he said.

“We are a bit light in the three-quarters and Jimmy has got good experience and some big games under his belt.

“Leeds have got an embarrassment of riches in the backs and this is an opportunity for him to come and play first grade and get some experience.

“He is a quality player with a lot of potential, who - whatever level he has played at – has always looked like scoring tries.”

Agar is confident the Briscoe loan will still go ahead, despite the Keinhorst impasse.

The coach, who signed Briscoe – brother of Leeds’ England winger Tom - for Hull said: “He is a natural footballer, with a lot of strength about his play.

“He can play anywhere in the backline and a bit of back-row if needed. He will add to the depth of our squad and I anticipate him playing first grade this year.”

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 Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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