Leeds Rhinos duo make immediate loan moves

Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and St Helens have long been seen as the best producers of English talent and all three clubs are awash with home grown stars who often form the backbone of success.

The fact these are the only three clubs to have the title since 2005 is indeed telling in that department.

Leeds are a great example of how youth leads to success in their golden generation.

Richie Mathers, Mark Calderwood, Chev Walker, Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Ryan Bailey, Matt Diskin, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and of course Rob Burrow were all part of the first group of young players to come through and lead Leeds to success and the Rhinos are working to foster that again with Jack Sinfield and others playing in the reserves at Headingley whilst academy products like Cameron Smith and Mikolaj Oledzki lees the first team.

As they develop these stars of the future they have allowed two to go on loan.

Keighley Cougars have today announced Joe Gibbons has rejoined the club on a season long loan and is joined by young prop, Tom Nicholson-Watton.

Keighley fans  will be familiar with Joe Gibbons after his try scoring debut in the home game against Bradford Bulls in March and the club are delighted to welcome Joe back.

He is the son of former Rhino and Batley Bulldogs man David Gibbons who played for Leeds in 1996 alongside twin brother Anthony.

Tom is a natural leader and is very skilful with the ball in hand and carries the ball strongly. As a Leeds Rhinos Reserves player in 2022, he returned from injury to finish the season with three appearances. He was a try scorer too in defeat to Hull FC. At the end of the year, he was included in Rohan Smith’s squad for the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge.

Nicholson-Watton has also represented both his country and county. While in the Under-16s, he was one of five players that pulled on an England shirt against Wales and scored a try in the 38-16 win. In 2021, he was part of a seven player cohort from Leeds that earned a place in Danny Wilson’s Yorkshire Academy squad and was a try scorer in the 40-10 win.