BACK HAILS LEEDS DEBUTANTS

Leeds coach Neil Back says that Lewis-Pratt and Tincknell could become the new stars for team this season. Fly-half Lewis-Pratt, 19, and centre Tinknell, 22, impressed on their debuts in the 22-21 defeat at Gloucester.

“Christian showed great maturity in his game management. He knows what he needs to work on and he will continue to improve,” Back told BBC Radio Leeds.

James also gave a fantastic show and he will be a key player for us later in the season.” Lewis-Pratt’s appearance at Kingsholme was his first in the Premiership, despite having had spells at London Irish and Northampton.

He scored 16 of Leeds’ 21 points at Glouceseter. Tincknell’s appearance, off the bench, marked a major milestone in an incredible two years.

MACKAY EXPECTING TOUGH SEASON

Leeds Carnegie’s Mackay says that he is expecting his toughest season ever. Speaking to Wales Rugby Hospitality, the Australian, 27, along with fellow Leeds new signing Steve Thompson, moved from French club Brive in the summer, where MacKay had spent two seasons.

“In the Premiership, every game is a hard slog, there just isn’t an easy game,” Mackay told BBC Radio Leeds.

“Whereas in the Top 14 you can have an off day and probably still beat one or two of the lower teams.”

The former Western Force man will compete for both the fly-half and inside centre shirt for the new season.

“There are not many people around that seem to play both positions,” he continued. “I guess centre has come more about the big ball runners, getting over the gain line.

“I grew up playing all my life at fly-half in Australia, then I got to Brive and Andy Goode was there, so I played inside centre.

“I think my size has helped me to transfer out to the centre. I can be used as a bit of a battering ram if needed and make those tackles in defence.