New Leeds Rhinos contract for Ash Handley - deal keeps him at Emerald Headingley until end of 2024

Leeds Rhinos' England winger Ash Handley has agreed a contract extension keeping him at Emerald Headingley until the end of 2024 - adding a year to his previous deal.

By Peter Smith
Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 6:00 am

The former Oulton Raiders junior, who came through Rhinos’ youth system and made his debut in 2014, is set to return from a pre-season knee injury when Leeds visit Hull KR on Friday.

Top try scorer in Betfred Super League last season, he was Rhinos’ player of the year in 2019 and runner-up 12 months later and has scored 78 tries in 124 games for Leeds.

“I was delighted to be offered a new deal and happy to have extended my contract with my hometown club,” said the 25-year-old, who is a member of England’s elite performance squad ahead of this year’s World Cup.

Ash Handley is set to return on Friday from a knee injury suffered in a pre-season game at Huddersfield Giants. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“I was under contract until 2023 anyway but, having spoken to [director of rugby] Kevin Sinfield, the club have always looked to reward players who do well with new deals and it has been nice to have that recognised.

“It is an exciting time for the club with a new generation of players coming into their prime years together over the next three or four years.”

Handley was hurt in a warm-up game at Huddersfield Giants last month and has yet to play this season, but coach Richard Agar has confirmed he will today be named in Rhinos’ initial squad for this week’s game at Hull College, Craven Park.

He said: “I am excited to be back involved in the team.

“The injury was frustrating as I wanted to be on the field, but it has given me a chance to work on a few things and I just can’t wait to get started.

“It is a big year for all the English players in Super League with a home World Cup on the horizon at the end of the year and I will be going out to do my best for Leeds every week to try and put myself in contention.”

Sinfield reckons Handley is now a world-class winger.

“We are pleased to be able to reward Ash with a new deal,” he said.

“He has been a shining light for the team over the last few seasons and is one of the best in the world in his position.

“We believe he is ready to move on to the next level of his career in the coming years and I am delighted he will do that as a Rhino.”

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