LEEDS RHINOS’ history-making young centre Harry Newman has signed a three-year first-team contract.
Huddersfield-born Newman, 17, became the first 21st century-born player to feature in Super League when he made his Rhinos debut at Wigan Warriors in July.
Newman, who had one year remaining year on his academy contract, will be awarded a squad number among Rhinos’ top 30 players for next season and said: “I am very proud to have signed a first team contract with Leeds Rhinos.
“This season it has been inspirational to see how well Jack Walker has done and Leeds have a history of giving young players a chance if they prove they are good enough. I owe a massive debt of thanks to my old coach at Newsome Panthers, [ex-Leeds star] Darren Fleary.
“He made the Rhinos aware of me when I was younger and that was the break I needed to get noticed by Leeds.
“I have trained with the first team a few times this season, but I am really looking forward to doing a full pre-season with the first-team players. Training alongside people like Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon and Liam Sutcliffe will be massive for my development in the next few years and hopefully I can make the most of any opportunities that come my way.”
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “We are pleased to have secured a player of Harry’s potential to the club on a long-term basis.
“We have an exciting crop of young players at the club now with Harry joining Jack Walker and Alex Sutcliffe in the first-team squad next season and players like Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki and Josh Jordan-Roberts all being a year further on in their development from their time playing in the Championship last season.
“Brian McDermott and his staff will give these young players the best-possible environment to fulfil their potential and we look forward to seeing them hopefully develop into the next generation of stars in the years ahead.”