Phil Nilsen has said that he is the kind of player to thrive on pressure that comes as the result of being the important member in the Leeds team. With Steve Thompson on England duty and Andy Titterell injured, the 25-year-old has quickly risen from third choice hooker to number one.

Nilsen told BBC Radio Leeds: “I feel there is added pressure on me to perform to the standards Thommo and Titts set.

“That’s bringing out the best in me and actually helping me.”

With conditioning coach James Parks on the bench against Exeter as emergency cover at hooker, Nilsen had to play the whole 80 minutes at Sandy Park and was one of Leeds’ standout performers.

Leeds remain in talks with potential new signings at hooker, but admit they are not close to agreeing any deals yet.