Stars of Leeds Rhinos' 2001 academy side went on to bigger and better things: How many do you recognise?

Can you spot the future Super League Grand Final champions on this picture of Leeds Rhinos’ 2001 academy title-winning squad?

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:32 pm

Coached by Mick Cook, Rhinos finished fourth on the league table that season, but battled through the play-offs to secure a Grand Final appearance against Wigan Warriors at DW Stadium.

Leeds trailed 8-0 early on, but, inspired by an outstanding performance from Danny McGuire, they hit back to win 42-26.

McGuire - who went on to win eight Super League Grand Finals, is the competition’s leading try scorer and now an assistant-coach at Hull KR - was named man of the match after scoring a hat-trick of tries and kicking four goals.

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Rhinos' 2001 academy squad with the Grand Final trophy. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Richard Mathers, Ryan Bailey, who kicked one goal and Nick Scruton also went on to play in winning sides for Leeds at Old Trafford.

Other members of the Rhinos side who later featured in Super League were Jon Hepworth, Tommy Gallagher, Jason Netherton and Dwyane Barker.

Hepworth, Barker and Mathers also crossed for Rhinos, along with Craig Stanley.

Members of that season’s academy squad were pictured by YEP photographer Tony Johnson on October 13, 2001: Back row - Ryan Sawyer, Tommy Gallagher, Jon Wainwright, Ryan Bailey, Glen Read, Jason Netherton, Glen Donkin. Middle row - Bob Pickles (team manager) Ken Bond (education officer), Gerry Nelson (GMB Union), Craig Vines, Andy Henson, Lewis Taylor, Peter Fox, Colin Kitchin, Ryan Taylor, Stan Timmins (fitness conditioner), Mick Cook (head coach). Front - Nick Scruton, Jon Hepworth, Danny McGuire, Dwaine Barker, Gareth Timmins, Scott Walker.

Danny McGuire captained Leeds to their 2017 Grand Final win, when he was man of the match. Picture by SWpix.com.
Ryan Bailey celebrates Rhinos' 2012 Grand Final triumph at Old Trafford. Picture by Steve Riding.