Leeds Rhinos have always had one of the best academies around. Their Golden Generation was even built on a core of young talent brought through the club’s system.
Even now some of their academy products are playing key roles in the side with Max Simpson and Jack Sinfield doing very well for the first team recently. In fact, their success is one of the problems facing the reserves today. The duo have been named in Rohan Smith’s 21-man squad with at least one set to play in tomorrow’s game against Salford.
Meanwhile, other young stars have been called up for the Yorkshire-Lancashire academy clash making them unavailable for this game. This has seen Leeds call up plenty of talent from the Championship and League 1 for today’s reserves clash against Castleford.
Leeds have Hunslet halfback Jack Mallinson in the halves whilst former Rhinos academy man and current Hunslet winger Kiedan Hartley is named on the wing. Aaron Jones-Bishop, brother of Ben Jones-Bishop who won two Super League titles whilst at Headingley, also features.
The highest profile name is Brandon Pickersgill who starts at fullback. Pickersgill was a major signing for the Rovers this winter as they drafted him in from Bradford but the arrival of Mark Kheirallah has seen him drop down the pecking order with this reserves clash the perfect chance to get some minutes under his belt and show his quality.
He’s only one of eight players brought into the fold at Leeds for the first time this season this afternoon as Leeds play a somewhat unique reserves side.