ESL ESL Leeds - News, Views and Rumours

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Kevin Sinfield, the Leeds Rhinos captain. Rob Burrow, the little man with the big heart belying his size among giants. Tasting the joy of victory in Grand Final and Wembley showpieces.

The aching limbs and throbbing, twitching muscles, all forgotten in a hug - a coming together of friends, team-mates, warriors.

Only this time it was different. Burrow's battles now go far beyond ducking and weaving between hulks trying to take him down. Motor Neurone Disease is his adversary now.

Sinfield ran seven marathons in seven days in support of his former team-mate and the MND Association, raising £1.2m shortly after he crossed the finishing line for the final time on Monday.

That smashed the former England playmaker's initial target of £77,777, a nod to the number seven shirt which Burrow wore for Leeds during his 17-year rugby league career.

The hug they shared after one leg of the challenge was evidence of their bond, a reminder just how special friendship is.
 

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Leeds Rhinos have granted prop Ava Seumanufagai immediate release to return to Australia for family reasons.

The 29-year-old joined the Rhinos in 2019 from Cronulla Sharks and went on to make 32 appearances, playing in October's Challenge Cup final win.

However, coronavirus travel restrictions between England and Australia have separated Seumanufagai from his family back home.
 

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Leeds Rhinos have signed New Zealand international forward Zane Tetevano from National Rugby League side Penrith Panthers on a three-year deal.

Tetevano, 30, has played 122 NRL games and featured in 2018 and 2020 Grand Finals for Sydney Roosters and the Panthers respectively.

He was part of the Kiwis squad that beat Great Britain in 2019, and has also played for Cook Islands.
 

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Former Leeds Rhinos captain Stevie Ward has announced his retirement at the age of 27 because of the long-term effects of concussion.

Ward said he is unable to even exercise without "irritating his symptoms".

He missed the rest of the 2020 season after suffering a concussion in the Rhinos' opening game of the year.
 

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Leeds Rhinos captain Luke Gale is likely to miss the start of the Super League season after tearing apectoral muscle in pre-season training.

The 32-year-old England scrum-half scored five tries in 18 games in his first season with Leeds in 2020, and lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley.

It followed two injury-hit years at Castleford, with Achilles and kneecap injuries limiting his game-time.
 

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Leeds Rhinos have signed back-rower King Vuniyayawa from National Rugby League side NZ Warriors for 2021.

The 25-year-old Fiji international made five NRL appearances for the Auckland-based club last season, making his debut against Newcastle in March.

Vuniyayawa takes up the quota spot left by prop Ava Seumanufagai's return to Australia earlier this pre-season.
 

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Leeds Rhinos centre Jack Broadbent has signed a new two-year contract.

Batley-born Broadbent made his Leeds debut towards the end of the Covid-disrupted 2020 season.

He made three Super League starts over the closing weeks of the season, two of them out of position at stand-off, but says his biggest moment was playing in the Rob Burrow testimonial game.
 
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Leeds Rhinos have signed Kyle Eastmond on a two-year contract as he returns to rugby league after a nine-year stint playing rugby union.

The 31-year-old began playing league with St Helens in 2007 before switching codes to join Bath in October 2011.

Winning six England caps while with Bath, he later joined Wasps and then Leicester, until his release last term.
 

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Leeds Rhinos full-back Jack Walker is likely to miss the entire 2021 Super League season because of a foot injury.

The 21-year-old had surgery on the injury last season but scans have revealed further complications.

Rhinos will also be without half-back Rob Lui for up to three months after the 31-year-old tore a quadricep in training two weeks ago.

Leeds begin their Super League campaign on Saturday, 27 March when they face Wakefield Trinity.
 

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Leeds Rhinos winger Ash Handley has extended his contract until the end of the 2024 season.

The 25-year-old has scored 78 tries in 124 appearances for the Rhinos since making his debut in 2014.
 

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Betfred Super League
Castleford (6) 6
Try: Turner Goal: Richardson
Leeds (32) 60
Tries: T Briscoe 2, Leeming 2, Broadbent, Myler, L Briscoe, Hurrell, Dwyer, Gannon, Gale Goals: Martin 8

Leeds Rhinos put in a dominant display to stun Castleford Tigers with 11 tries as they coasted to a much-needed Super League victory.

Jordan Turner got Cas off the mark before Tom Briscoe began a breathtaking first-half spell from Leeds.

Jack Broadbent, Kruise Leeming (2), Richie Myler and Luke Briscoe sent them in with a sizable 32-6 half-time lead.

Konrad Hurrell, Brad Dwyer, Morgan Gannon, Tom Briscoe's second and Luke Gale's late score capped off victory.

Castleford, who came into the game without full-back Niall Evalds, back-row Adam Milner and prop Lewis Bienek, made the perfect start when Turner crossed in the second minute but things soon soured for the hosts.

Leeds had an unchanged side for the trip to The Jungle after slipping to ninth in the table following Sunday's loss to Hull, their fifth league defeat of the season.

They looked reinvigorated despite conceding early, and Tom Briscoe's fourth-minute opener for Leeds, his first of two tries on the night, set the tone for 60 unanswered points, the first six tries coming before the half-time hooter.

Despite their fine start to the season, Cas had suffered two consecutive defeats, and never looked like coming back after Leeds' stunning first-half flurry.
 

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Betfred Super League
Salford Red Devils (8) 12
Tries: Atkin, Escare Goals: Atkin, Patton
Leeds Rhinos (22) 38
Tries: Broadbent 2, T. Briscoe, Myler 2, Leeming, Gale Goals: Martin 5

Struggling Salford fell to a ninth loss of the season after an ill-tempered defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

Both teams were reduced to 12 men after 16 minutes when Lee Mossop and Bodene Thompson were sent off for punching.

Leeds scored seven tries to dominate Salford, with two Richie Myler scores in two minutes at the end of the first half putting them in firm control.

It was Leeds' first game since 28 May after a Covid-19 outbreak had forced them to postpone their past two games.
 

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Jack Sinfield, son of Leeds legend Kevin, has signed his first professional contract with the Rhinos.
 

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Leeds Rhinos versatile centre Liam Sutcliffe is out for up to six months with a knee injury, boss Richard Agar has confirmed.

The 26-year-old has been a utility option for the Rhinos in 2021, featuring across the centres, at full-back and at stand-off.

However, Leeds-born Sutcliffe was withdrawn at half-time during last week's Castleford defeat.
 

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Betfred Super League
Leeds (10) 18
Tries: Handley, Myler, Lui Goals: Handley, Newman 2
Huddersfield (4) 12
Tries: Pryce, Wood, Trout

Leeds Rhinos hero Rob Burrow and his family watched from the stands as his ex-club beat Huddersfield Giants on an emotional night at Emerald Headingley.

Burrow, who is battling motor neurone disease, earned a rapturous reception on his return for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began last year.

The Rhinos boosted their play-off hopes with the six-point win.

They stay sixth, but distanced themselves from nearest rivals Hull FC, who face Hull KR on Saturday.
 

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Leeds Rhinos plan to erect a statue of "two of the club's greatest ever servants" - Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield - at Emerald Headingley.

The pair won seven Super League titles and two Challenge Cup crowns together at the club between 2004 and 2015.
 

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Leeds boss Richard Agar says his side are "already in play-off territory" before Friday's season-ending Super League match against Hull KR.

Both sides are already guaranteed a play-off place.

The result of their game will determine who will face Wigan or Warrington in the eliminators next week.
 

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Betfred Super League elimination play-off
Wigan (0) 0
Leeds (0) 8
Try: Handley Goals: Martin 2

Leeds Rhinos overcame Wigan Warriors to book a Super League play-off semi-final spot in a bruising, intense game at the DW Stadium.

The two sides slugged it out for the first 40 minutes without a single point to show in a game of ferocious grind.

It took a kick from Kruise Leeming, tapped back by Richie Myler and finished by Ash Handley, to break the arm-wrestle cycle in the second half.

Wigan hammered away but Rhyse Martin sealed victory with a late penalty.

That decision - and the game-sealing shot at goal - infuriated outgoing Wigan head coach Adrian Lam, who felt it had been spilled by Mikolaj Oledzki rather than ripped away from the Rhinos prop.

Leeds will face either League Leaders' Shield winners Catalans Dragons or St Helens in the last four, depending on the winner of Friday's game between Warrington and Hull KR.
 

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Leeds Rhinos have signed winger David Fusitu'a on a two-year contract from National Rugby League side New Zealand Warriors.

The 27-year-old has played 108 NRL games for the Warriors and has scored 61 tries during his time with the club.
 
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stanleyg

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Leeds Rhinos have signed winger David Fusitu'a on a two-year contract from National Rugby League side New Zealand Warriors.

The 27-year-old has played 108 NRL games for the Warriors and has scored 61 tries during his time with the club.
if he can remain injury free super league should suit a player of his capability.