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Rhinos 'Ins and Outs'
Posted by southstander on July 14 2005 - 13:50:08

Only Signing
The Rhinos have had unprecedented success over the last eighteen months under the superb coaching of Tony Smith and the overall control of Gary Hetherington. All Leeds supporters must congratulate them on their achievements and hope that the Rhinos time at the pinnacle of the game is far from over.

As the current season hits the home straights I thought it was time to take a look at the potential shape of the squad next season with the 'ins/outs and promotions'.

If we take the first Superleague game of the 2005 season as the yardstick and look at the players who have left/will be leaving, against those who are confirmed as arriving for 2006, we are looking in a bit of a sorry state. Whilst some players will undoubtedly be promoted from within to regular first teamers, the most notable being Nick Scruton and Lee Smith, we are still looking a little bare for the start of next year.

Scott DonaldLiam BothamLee Smith
Chris FeatherNick Scruton
Wayne McDonaldScott Murrell (?)
Barrie McDermottJason Golden (?)
Mark CalderwoodCarl Ablett (?)
Andrew Dunemann
Marcus Bai (?)
Chris McKenna (?)
Willie Poching (?)

So, it looks possible that nine regular first teamers will play, or have played, their last game for Leeds in Superleague X, whilst only one firm signing and two/five promotions have taken place from the junior ranks. Does this imply that we will be promoting another five players next season, or does Gary have a trick or two up his sleeve?

On this basis I can only see one option in terms of Bai, McKenna and Poching...extensions for 2006.

I'm all in favour of bringing the local lads through from the ranks, and have been impressed with Smithy and Scrutes so far this season, but to be honest I can't see where another five or six players are going to come from that will enable us to maintain the momentum that we have spent eighteen months building up.

Interesting times!



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