I personally think that it is great news that Jamie Jones-Buchanan has signed a three year extension with the Rhinos that will take him past his Leeds testimonial and up to the ripe old age of thirty. When judged against his peers he neither has the skill of the best (Burrow and McGuire) or the strength of the biggest (Peacock and Bailey) but he works hard, puts in the long stints, and makes few mistakes. Basically the lad is a grafter.|
Many outsiders will look at the Rhinos as a team of individuals with stars like; Sinfield, Burrow, McGuire, Peacock, Webb, Ellis and Toopi. They often overlook the less stand out players such as JJB, but it is the likes of the lad who came to Headingley at the tender age of sixteen that bind the side together and let our 'diamonds' shine.
The Rhinos side is built on this bedrock of players that have known nothing other than Leeds. Players like; Smith, Sinfield, Diskin, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Ablett and Scruton. These lads know each other inside out, they know each others strengths and weaknesses, and they know how to complement one another. Stability and retention of such players is therefore essential for the continuity of the side and the continuity of the success.
In past years I've been screaming for more signings, and preferably more superstars. As a supporter, you look at the side on paper and decide if we need a 'new winger' or a 'new prop' and then you make your case, but do we really need them?
We've brought in no new outside players this year, but then why change a winning side? The offloading of Thackray (if it ever happens) will free up space on the salary cap should McClennan decide a few games into the season that we need more muscle or cover in a particular area. In the meanwhile we have a side who have gone beyond bonding. Who live in one anothers pockets and who play for one another.