Leeds Rhinos named a very experimental side for today’s clash against Wakefield Trinity and though it ended in defeat a lot of young players, those who have experience and those that don’t, got some important minutes in their development.
The two props that started the game both have experience but are still developing: the returning Tom Holroyd and the towering Sam Walters.
Walters, like teammate Jarrod O’Connor, joined Leeds after Widnes Vikings’ financial struggles and the two have come through the ranks together at Headingley.
Both were key in Leeds’ push to the Grand Final in 2022 and Walters developed into an exciting front rower though he originally started his career as a backrower.
He started in the front row today and said he was happy to be back: “It’s good to be back, blow away the cobwebs and get those combinations going that we’ve worked on in pre-season.”
But does he now see himself as a prop:
“I think I play wherever the team needs me to play and where Rohan Smith wants me to play. I still see myself as a backrow, I will probably play prop for the majority of next season but I want to show that I can still do a good job at backrow.”
However, he believes all of this can help him develop his game.
When asked if mixing the two positions will help him develop, he said: “If I play as a middle, I want to play long stints, I have a good engine at the moment and I want to show I can play a lot of minutes.”