Derrell Olpherts explains Leeds Rhinos switch as he reflects on last year with Castleford Tigers

Derrell Olpherts will be a Leeds player in 2023 after signing a two-year deal with the Rhinos leaving Castleford for the short journey across West Yorkshire to be a Rhino moving forward.

He has now explained his decision saying “It’s a good time to be at this club” after the club’s recent Grand Final appearance.

Speaking to the Rhinos YouTube channel, he also reflected on what he felt was a strong final season with the Tigers: “I think I had an above average season, and we were unlucky to not get into the play-offs. But I’m looking to kick on and elevate my game here.”

However, the Jungle is now in the past for him and he explained the role Rohan Smith played in getting him to Headingley: “We nearly worked together when he was at Bradford but it didn’t happen and I ended up going to Salford, lucky the chance has come round again.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him develop my game.”

Part of this will evidently see him develop into a centre, a role he played prior to his Super League switch: “Adapting back really, I didn’t really play wing till Super League. If I can get back to playing centre or fullback, and doing it well is something I want to do.

“I just want to add to what they’ve got here already.”

So, could we see Olpherts take on the number four shirt vacated by Hull FC bound Liam Sutcliffe?

It doesn’t seem out the question but Olpherts does seem excited by the opportunities at Leeds, the chance to kick on with the Grand Finalists and play with the likes of Ash Handley.

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