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“It couldn’t have ended any worse” – Leeds Rhinos’ James Bentley on St Helens exit

James Bentley has won a Grand Final but has never played at Old Trafford.

This is because he produced a superb display in St Helens’ Grand Final over Wigan in 2020 which, due to the pandemic, took place in an empty MKM Stadium.

Bentley then went on to miss last year’s Grand Final with a horrible back injury: “I can’t wait. It was a special moment winning that one in 2020, but missing out on last year with injury and seeing how booming it was, I can’t wait to run out there and feel that energy from the crowd.

“It was gutting the way my last year ended, breaking my leg missed the Challenge Cup and then doing my back, it couldn’t have ended any worse for me.

“I had a good time there, I’ve got good memories but focused on this year now back here with my boyhood team and I’m buzzing for it.”

However, now he will come up against his former team in this year’s Grand Final in front of a packed out Old Trafford as Super League’s two most successful sides collide both chasing a record ninth Grand Final win.

For Bentley, this adds something a little extra to today’s game as Bentley’s former club takes on his boyhood team: “That’s the cherry on top, you always want to play the best team and that’s them at the minute. I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

But can Bentley pick up a second Grand Final win this time with the team he grew up supporting?

It will take a huge effort especially from Bentley who is Leeds’ defensive rock.

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