Lewis Jones, Vic Hey, Eric Harris and Arthur Clues are some of the greats of rugby league who, during their careers with the Leeds rugby league club (LRLC), earned such a kinship with famous South Stand of Headingley.
The fact is that all first played for Amber and the Blue before 1952, nevertheless, hints at total how many special players have featured at the front of the iconic terrace that will get demolished after the game against St Helens. Though, the demolition is in its way to a new state-of-the art stand by 2019, but so many memories intact will this iconic terrace is there.
From here, Jamie Jones-Buchanan watched the team, which he is going to be part of from the South Stand. The likes of Garry Schofield, Kevin Sinfield, Mick Shoebottom and John Holmes, would all become the darlings of that Headingley crowd vociferous part since the opening stand in the year 1931. Thus, for the West Yorkshire club, it often proved as an extra man.
The emotional send-off of this terrace is planned for the evening and on the occasion, some handful of Leeds players will be seen actually recall their childhood memories of standing on the terrace as kids.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan Second-row is one of that individual. He said:
“At Leeds, my first experience was in the South Stand. I never thought that I would be a professional player some day or play for Leeds. I used to come here, just to watch the game of the best team in my local area.
It has been a wonderful place. The place is the witness of a number of epic games internationally, not just for Leeds. I recall how I used to come here and watch the game of Australians in front of nearly 23,000 people.”
Featherstone Rovers captain Ian Hardman has signed a new contract thus extending his stay with the club.
The new contract is expected to expire after a year.
Hardman joined the club from St. Helens in 2009 and ever since then, has become a fixture in the side.
Last Friday’s game against Leeds Rhinos which saw them fall 58-0 under the hammer of Leeds was his 250th appearance for the club.
In the Kingstone Press Championship, the Jon Sharp led side currently lies in the fourth berth. Halifax is in the fifth behind them with just one point and one more game than Featherstone.
And while the 31 year old was delighted to have penned a new contract with the club, he insists that their focus will be to ensure that they hold down their position in the top four.
“It has been a real privilege to lead the team this season and I hope to be leading us in an exciting Qualifiers campaign in August. We are fighting for our place in the top four, while striving to make it back into the top two.” Hardman said.
He also stated that with the current squad the team is building and with the kind of ambition spirit they possess, they would be sure to reach great heights.
Hardman also noted that they could end the season on a great note as well as to begin the new season on a fantastic note if they can keep on strengthening and performing better on the field.
He believes he is fit and he continues to work hard to ensure that his form remains up. He hopes that as far as his body remains healthy, he could continue to remain a part of the club’s future.
It is expected that LEEDS RHINOS’ England forward Brett Ferres may face the ban of four to eight matches, when the disciplinary panel of Rugby Football League’s will call him to appear before them.
Ferres is facing the charge, that at Headingley during Rhinos’ 26-18 win, he made dangerous contact on Wigan’s Oliver Gildart.
The second-rower, who has played three games in total so far in Leeds in 2017 after recovering from groin injury, which was for a long period of time was sin-binned by referee Ben Thaler. Thaler issues the grade E charge on him. Under the disciplinary system of RFL this is the second most serious level of charge.
The decision was taken when the incident came to the sport’s match panel and studied by the review panel of the sport’s match. In the similar incident, Rhinos prop Brad Singleton got strict punishment and was banned for six matches. So far, he has served the suspension of half of a six-match.
The ban was imposed on him because of grade E charges of striking Catalans Dragons’ Greg Bird with an elbow in a game. It was the most serious punishment handed to a player of Leeds player after David Cruickshank faced the banned for eight games in the year 1990.
Shaun Wane the coach of Wigan said, after the action, Gildart suffered a “serious back “injury”. Because of this he will not be able to play for two to three months.
However, after the game, Ferres Tweeted and said, “I would never want to hurt a player intentionally” and also revealed in the tweet that he had apologized Gildart after the incident happened. What kind of punishment will be given to Ferres will be decided on soon by the sport’s match panel on Wednesday.
England’s winger, Ryan Hall has made a call to his club side and fellow team mates at Leeds Rhinos, to aim higher this season and try to be the best they can.
Leeds will begin their Betfred Super League campaign as they travel down to St Helens next Thursday. Top on their to-do list, would be to regain their lost pride after a disastrous campaign in the 2016 season saw them miss out on a place in the play-offs for the first time.
In all competitions they participated in, the previous year’s treble winners lost a whooping 16 out of a total of 19 opening matches.
They were in serious relegation danger before they were able to pick up form during the season’s second half.
At the end of the regular rounds, they were able to climb to the ninth position, therefore topping the Qualifiers table, a zone made up of the bottom four in Super League and the leading quartet from the Kingstone Press Championship.
They were able to win 11 games out of their final 13 games, thus restoring a little pride, and leaving them with something to build on.
However, Ryan Hall has admitted that their performance was not good last year. He wants them to work together and achieve something, get back among the trophies, head onto the major finals and go on to become the best team.
“You have got to set out to try and achieve something and to be the best team and that’s what we are trying to achieve, in all competitions.
“We want to be the best team we can be and if that leads to some silverware, jolly good!”
He believes everyone would be going into this year’s campaign with high spirits and in good shape.
Adrian Morley, former Leeds and Great Britain forward will be once again join his first club by today, December 1st as part of a new-look backroom team with the club.
The newly created role which will see him work as Academy Head Coach, in addition to being part of the senior coaching team at Leeds Rhinos. Also, he will serve in ambassadorial position at Headingley Carnegie on every match days.
Last season, Morley worked at Salford Red Devils last season, after retiring from the game back in 2015. The Great Britain international finished his career at Salford, his home town club, thus bringing a 20 year journey to full circle.
Morley is the only British player to have won an NRL Grand Final and a Super League. In his new position, he would replace Chris Plume as Academy Head Coach, thus allowing Plume to concentrate solely on the first team squad.
Head Coach, Brian McDermott while commenting on Morley’s appointment had said,
“The appointment of Adrian will certainly strengthen us for next season.
“To have secured Adrian is a massive boost to our youth development programme. He will work alongside our Head of Youth Simon Bell and I will definitely welcome his input on the first team squad given his standing in the game and his record of achievement throughout his career.
“It is great that we have kept a man of his experience, on both sides of the hemisphere, in our game here in Super League.”
Morley noted on how funny it was that he had started out with the club as his first, and also made his final appearance with them a year ago after appearing as a guest in the club’s clash with New Zealand in 2015 at Headingley Carnegie.
The Royal British Legion has a new sponsorship from Leeds Rhinos.
In support for the organization the rugby club has launched shirts that are part of a limited edition. The shirts of the Leeds Rhinos club would be part of a new limited edition.
The look is new as compared to the existing logo or branded club t shirts and other accessories. The funds are being raised for a reason as well. It would be hundred years since the time the legion fought in the Battle of Somme. The funds are being raised in order to commemorate players who had served in the First World War, having been part of the legion.
The new heritage shirt design is launched to commemorate the upcoming anniversary of the Battle of Somme which had begun on July 1st, 1916. In this battle Leeds Pals who were part of the 15th Service Battalion along with Prince of Wales’ regiment, fought but were devastated on the opening day. The first day’s slaughter on the battle field claimed about 20000 men who were English as well as French. It included names like Sergeant David Harkness Blakey who had been a rugby league player of Leeds.
The initiative was taken by the heritage committee of Leeds Rhinos Foundation. They researched and gathered a list of players who had been part of the first as well as the second team who had taken part in the First World War. The names of these players are mentioned on the inside of the shirt’s neckline. As a tribute to this day, the Leeds Rhinos would be playing at the Headingley Carnegie stadium on July 15th. They would be wearing this heritage shirt for the game. There are replicas of the limited edition up for sale and the proceeds of the sales would go towards the fund formed for the Royal British Legion.
As most teams face the coming and going of different players, so does Leeds Rhinos this year.
Kevin Sinfield is known to be a legend of the team. This season will see the end of his active rugby playing career. During his playing career he has scored a total of 117 points and appeared for a total of sixteen times for Yorkshire Carnegie. Aged thirty five years of age, he switched codes when he joined the union side from the league side. This happened in November last year. He led the Rhinos in the treble win.
Leeds was captained by him for a total span of thirteen years. It definitely helped the team win several accolades. These included seven wins in grand finals, two in the Challenge Cup category and three in the World Cup challenge categories. Sinfield states that he feels that he had to get a proper job some day and that day has arrived. The BBC sports personality of the year award in the second position was awarded to him in 2015. With so many accolades, retiring would definitely create an impact on his team. The forthcoming Carnegie championship that is coming up will see him taking part after which he will make his retirement official.
Sinfield has been capped about 27 times for his country with a 13 man code. He feels that the career that has spanned twenty years has offered him several privileges. He has enjoyed his professional life of a rugby player and is ready to retire now. He feels it is a good time to do so and not go out because of an injury that makes coming back on the field difficult. Different players have different viewpoints as to when and how they wish to retire. However, it is the way they do and the impact on their team that makes the difference.
Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Leicester Tigers are planning a huge splash in the transfer market this summer as they look for a ‘gold dust’ signing either at centre or full back. Richard Cockerill, the club’s Director of Rugby has said that he has been speaking with Aaron Mauger, the club’s head coach next season every other day as the pair plans the improvement that the squad needs.
Midfield and full back areas have already been identified by the duo as the key areas in the squad that still need addressing. According to Cockerill, the club would consider spending a considerable amount of money in the transfer window if the right player became available. He said that they are looking at those two areas as positions that they need to strengthen and have some gold dust in there.
The Leicester Tigers went on added however; that finding them is one thing and being able to afford them is another. The team has struggled all season with its midfield combination following injuries to England man Manu Tuilagi and Ant Allen which meant that the two have played only match together out of the 30 the team has played all season.
The fitness of these two players remain a concern for the Tigers and with some of the other options in midfield nearing the end of their careers, the number 13 and especially the number 12 role is up for grabs.
Mat Tait and Blaine Scully have also left the Leicester Tigers and the full back position is in need of some much needed reinforcements as well. However, Richard Cockerill has said that the board and the head coach will not be pushed into the market adding that panic buying is the last thing they want to do at this moment.
The 44 years old Brian McDermott who is the coach of the Leeds Rhinos, has said that he was not completely happy with the performance his team had put up in the match against Huddersfield Giants which took place on Friday, 27th February at Headingly Carnegie stadium which is in Leeds.
The 29 years old Rugby player Paul Aiton’s try helped his team secure the spectacular victory. The final score stood at Leeds Rhinos, 28 and Huddersfield Giants, 24.
The coach of the winning team was not happy even after his team won because of two reasons; one is the refereeing of the match and the other is the way his team performed in the match. 25 minutes after the match started, the score of Leeds Giants was 18 while their opponent team failed to score even one point till then.
But they managed to score 22 points later while the score of Leeds Rhinos stood at 24. The touchdown that Paul Aiton scored for his team made the total score of the Rhinos, 28 while their rival team’s score remained 22. Including this loss, the Huddersfield Giants have lost three matches consecutively.
The coach of the winning team Brian McDermott said that Huddersfield was about to lose their third match in a row and naturally there was a high level of determination among the team’s players to secure the victory. He said that the second half of the match was pretty bad to watch from a coach’s viewpoint. He said that in the ruck, the Huddersfield giants did things which are not allowed in the game. He regards that the level of rugby that was played in the second half of a match was very much below the standard. McDermott appreciated the way Huddersfield Giants fought their way up from 18-0 situation. He said that though he’s happy that his team has won, he does not think that the performance of his team was spectacular at all in the match.
Rugby Football Union Championship club the Yorkshire Carnegie has announced that it has parted company with head coach Gary Mercer.
The 48 year old Mercer was appointed as the head coach of the team last summer but was not present to lead the team out since their draw against Plymouth Albion in November. Although officials of the team refused to accept it at the time of announcing his departure, Tommy McGee has been in charge of the team during the long absence of Mercer as head coach and it is believed that he will now take the job full time now that Mercer is no longer associated with the club.
Gary Hetherington, the chief executive of the Yorkshire Carnegie announced the departure in a brief press conference and he said that he, on behalf on everyone associated with the club would want to wish Gary Mercer all the very best for his future endeavours and also extended his gratitude to their former head coach for his efforts.
He went on to add that it was very unfortunate for both the club and the coach that things didn’t go as well as both parties would have hoped it would when the partnership was announced but at the end of it, both parties can now move forward after a mutual agreement was reached.
Yorkshire Carnegie are one of the biggest rugby union clubs in the country with one of the best infrastructure and state of the art facilities that could put some of the Aviva Premiership clubs to shame. But things have not worked out for them since relegation to the RFU Championship a couple of years back and they are languishing at ninth in the table, 14 points away from a spot in the playoffs with nine games left to play.