Same passion, more control: What to expect when Leeds Rhinos’ Harry Newman returns v Wigan Warriors

LEEDS RHINOS ace Harry Newman is promising the same passion, but more control when he returns form a three-match ban against Wigan Warriors on Friday.

By Peter Smith
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 3:26 pm

The RFL’s match review panel handed Newman a two-game penalty notice for using grade C ‘threatening language or body language’ towards referee Tom Grant during Rhinos’ defeat at St Helens last month, despite no action being taken at the time.

The incident wasn’t mentioned in the referee’s report and Newman pleaded not guilty, but a disciplinary hearing labelled his challenge ‘frivolous’ and added a third match to the ban.

Rhinos’ appeal against the extra punishment was dismissed at a later hearing and Newman - who was only two matches into his return from a long-term hamstring injury - reflected: “It is what it is.

Harry Newman gets away from Trinity's Jai Whitbread during Rhinos' win at Wakefield in March. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“There’s nothing I can do about it now, it’s done and I’ve put it to bed.”

But he stressed: “I am still going to come with the same attitude: passionate and fiery, that’s when I am at my best.

“I am not going to change that, I have just got to manage those situations better.

“It’s just about using that energy elsewhere, saving it for something important.

Harry Newman in training. Picture by Phil Daly.

“It isn’t going to change the way I play or the way I approach the game, it is just a lesson learned in terms of dealing with those situations.”

Newman has been consulting a “mental performance coach” for the past two years and revealed: “We started working just before I had my leg break, which was good timing.

“I’ve worked with her ever since so I am ready to go.

“She has been good at helping me deal with injuries and mindset sorts of things and how to manage and put my energy into things that matter.”

Harry Newman tackles Saints' Jonathan Bennison. Picture by Picture by Ed Sykes/

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Newman was regaining his match fitness before the ban, but insisted he is good to go tonight.

“Just coming back from injury and then getting a ban wasn’t the best, but I am really looking forward to getting back out there,” he stated.

“I’ve been training hard, I know what I need to do to stay in shape to be able to perform and I feel good.

“I’ve felt good in training and I can’t wait to get back out there.”

The 22-year-old will go in at the deep end against a Wigan side on a high from last Friday’s 60-0 thrashing of Hull, when Bevan French set a new Betfred Super League record with seven tries.

“It’s a tough game against Wigan and we’ve still plenty of players missing,” Newman reflected.

“We just can’t seem to get everyone on the pitch at the same time at the minute, but it’s not an excuse and I’m sure we’ll put in a good performance.”

Being back at home for the first time in two months will give Rhinos a lift, the centre reckons.

He pointed out: “I haven’t played a Super League game at Headingley this season.

“I had all that time out and then the long away run.

“The last time I played at Headingley was against Hull FC in pre-season so I am really excited.

“It is great to be at Headingley, it’s the best stadium in Super League and the best atmosphere by a mile.

“I just can’t wait to be back out there.”

He added: It’s obviously a big challenge in Wigan, who are probably the form side in Super League at the minute.

“They’ve some dangerous players, but we will have our plan and we know what we need to do and what we have to focus on.”

Of French’s record, Newman stressed: “That was last week.

“We’ve obviously got a lot of respect for players like that, breaking records.

“He is a great player, we see that week-in and week-out, but we will be ready to attack their attack and do what we do best.”