Exclusive: Leeds Rhinos signing Derrell Olpherts has say on whether he will play centre in 2023

Derrell Olpherts is one of Leeds Rhinos’ most exciting signings going into the 2023 after the acquired his services from Castleford Tigers.

However, it is still unclear where he will play. The Rhinos seem set to make one last signing after a quota spot opened with the retirement of Matt Prior which could see the Rhinos sign a centre for 2023.

But, if this doesn’t happen, it seems Olpherts may be receiving the number four jersey in 2023 especially the way the club spoke about his versatility upon his arrival.

Olpherts has been a winger during his time in Super League but prior to his move to the top tier, he played centre so he knows the role well.

But what position is he expecting to play for Leeds in 2023?

Speaking to Serious About Rugby League, he answered this question.

“I’ll be honest, I haven’t been training yet so I don’t know what the tactical insight is myself,” Olpherts noted.

“Obviously, most backs can play anywhere in the backfield so I’m happy to play wing, to play centre if the opportunity came around and I’m looking to develop my game in other places yeah.”

When asked if he had a preference, Olpherts showed his brilliant attitude with his answer: “My preference is I’d like to play or help the team in anyway I can. If you look at Leeds’ squad they’ve got a lot of world class outside backs at wing and centre there’s going to be lots of healthy competition. You don’t know where or what position you’re going to play until close to game time.”

He knows wherever he plays he will have to fight for his place in the side too: “Ash Handley has been a top try scorer and metre maker over the last couple of years, he’s an outstanding winger as is David Fusitu’a who has done it all in the NRL. They’ve got Harry Newman and loads of good young talent.”

The former Castleford and Salford Red Devils man also reflected on how his positional switch happened upon signing for the Salford Red Devils.

He said: “I don’t know, I was just happy to play anywhere. I wouldn’t have questioned it, I just wanted to be in the team and any player in a team that’s what they’re thinking. I ended up playing well and I took to it well and the stuff I was doing out of backfield was where the game was headed so that’s where I ended up playing and developing my game and ended up being a consistently starting winger for Salford and Castleford. That’s how that came about.”

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