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Leeds Rhinos centre leaves club on the eve of Super League season

Leeds Rhinos have agreed a deal to allow 19-year-old centre Levi Edwards to join Betfred Championship side York Knights on a three-year deal.

Edwards played a key role in York’s hugely successful 2022 as a season-long loanee, including scoring a try in the 26-24 Betfred Championship Play-Off victory at Halifax Panthers – the Club’s first ever Play-Off win in the second tier.

The 19-year-old finished with four tries in 11 appearances last year, having scored four times in five matches for Batley Bulldogs during their Betfred Championship Play-Offs finish in 2021.

On joining the Knights on a permanent deal, Edwards said: “I’m really excited. I was at the Club last year for the season on loan and I really enjoyed it, it’s a really good Club. I can’t wait to get going again now playing for the Club on a permanent deal.

“I want to improve my game and develop as a player and I think that York is the Club for me to do that.

“It’s a really professional environment here and the facilities are top class. It wasn’t a hard decision to come here on a permanent deal and I think it’s going to be a really good move for me in the long run.

“And hopefully I can help the Club in the long run by getting us into Super League. I’d love to help York get there and I’d love to be playing in Super League myself.

“We’ve got the facilities, coaching staff and players, so it’s up to us to do it.”

Knights Head Coach Andrew Henderson said: “Levi was on loan with the Club last year so we made our initial enquires about potentially bringing him on loan again this season. Then we had an indication that we might be able to get him permanently. We didn’t hesitate to progress that and make that move.

“Levi is an exciting talent and a fantastic carrier of the ball. I believe he has the potential to be a Super League player in the future.

“He’s someone we’ve identified as being part of the journey longer term all being well from his side if he continues to progress and develop as a player, as we hope he will.

“In the short term I think it was important that we brought in another outside back.

“We couldn’t miss out this opportunity to get a player of Levi’s quality and in that position more importantly to add strength and depth to the current squad.

“He’s really excited to come to York, he said he really enjoyed the experience last year during his time here and he’s excited about the new opportunity for him.

“He’s hopeful that he can cement himself in this team and develop further here to ultimately make him a Super League player and hopefully a Super League player with York one day.

“He’s an exciting talent, I see something in him and he has a real quality about what he can do.

“What excites me the most is that he’s still so young, he has so many years ahead of him and so much more growth in him as a player as well. I’m really excited to have here.”

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington commented, “Levi leaves with our best wishes and I am sure he will continue his progression in the Championship with York. He has worked hard during pre-season with the Rhinos but the opportunity to secure a long term deal with York was something we were happy to allow him to do.”

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