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Exclusive: Jack Broadbent on his Leeds journey and expiring contract

Leeds Rhinos’ Jack Broadbent is only 21, but it’s already clear that he has a big future ahead of him.

After debuting in the 2020 Super League season, Broadbent went from strength to strength, underlining his credentials as a potent attacking threat and someone with a mature head beyond his years.

But, it’s always clear that he knows the ins and outs of the game of rugby league and much of that, according to Broadbent himself, is down to the fact that he too was a referee during his teenage years.

“I started playing first at Batley Boys, and I remember turning up to a training session and I was bigger than all the lads,” Broadbent told Serious About Rugby League.

“I ended up playing with the wrong age group and played the whole time in the under-14s when I shouldn’t, but I also started refereeing when I was 12.

“I had to go to Normanton for two four-hour sessions – all the players in the local area used to referee and I thought that’s something I wanted to do.”

The 21-year-old, who can play anywhere along the backline, then went on to confess that playing was where his heart lay.

“About six players in my team all went on the referees course together and I did that until I was 15 and 16.

“When I was at Leeds though it became more serious and time consuming, I never wanted to become a full-time referee I always wanted to be a player.

“I like to think I have a good understanding of the rules having refereeing – being in that environment allows me to understand where a referee is coming from when i talk to them.”

For now, it’s a case of nailing down a first-team spot after thoroughly enjoying his time in Super League so far.

“I made my senior debut at Fev in 2018 and Batley, I had the chances to debut in 2020.

“My time at Leeds has rocketed since then, I got thrown fully in last year, but I loved playing Super League week in week out.

“I love rugby league and it’s hopefully what I can do for the next ten years or so – Leeds are a great club and they’ve helped me so much.”

At just 21 years of age, Yorkshireman Broadbent has become one of the brightest stars in the competition, but will be out of contract at the end of the 2022 season.

That, however, is something that the youngster is not worried about.

“Yes, I’m out of contract this year, but it’s not something I’m thinking of,” Broadbent told Serious About Rugby League.

“I’m here to play rugby and get my head down – I don’t need to think about that as I’m just concentrating on playing my best rugby for Leeds.”

Though Broadbent has shown he is equally adept at playing fullback, wing or even the halfback position, the 21-year-old is keen to show head coach Richard Agar that he wants a jersey in particular.

“Centre is the position I want to nail down, it’s my favourite position.

“Me and Rich (Agar) have spoken about it being my best position, but we’ve got Liam Sutcliffe and Harry Newman who have got the centre shirts as well as Tom Briscoe who performed really well last year.

“Having said that, I want to put my team first and if I was an out and out centre I probably wouldn’t have got as many games as I did last year – my utility tag probably got me more ten more games last season as I played four positions.

“I played at fullback, centre, wing and at halfback, so I like to think they can put me anywhere on the pitch and I could play there.

“I’ve got a good understanding of the game, but centre is the best position that is suited for me.”

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