Leeds Rhinos star makes huge decision on his future

Leeds Rhinos may have made a few big signings for the 2024 season but they have also made a few key retentions for the 2024 Super League season.

The Rhinos have now added former St Helens star James Bentley to that list with Rohan Smith revealing in his press conference today that he has signed a two year extension to stay with the club for the next two years.

Speaking to the press, Smith confirmed the news and spoke on Bentley’s attributes and what he will continue to bring to the Headingley club.

“James Bentley has agreed to terms for a further two years with us, so we’re excited to have James around,” Smith announced.

“His performances in the last little while particularly sort of coincided with some work he’s done off the field and he’s really heading on the right track, I think.

“James has always wanted to play for the Rhinos. I know his career here started a little rough last year, the suspension guidelines were very harsh last year. They’ve lightened off a little bit and James has also improved in some areas.

“He competes hard, he plays hard, the boys all like him. I think his best footy is still ahead of him. So, he’s of that age where he’s starting to work it out and I expect a big 2024 from James.

“At the back end of last season he performed really well on the field. He managed to get that fine balance right of competing hard and being aggressive but also being effective. He’s done that most of this season.

“He’s been a little interrupted with a knee injury at the start of the season. Probably didn’t get into the flow of it until more recently and then he suffered that significant head knock. significant head knocks. That one, it’s unfortunate timing because he’s really starting to get some momentum.

“James is a great competitor, he works hard and he’s very committed towards the club for the short and the long term.”

This is a huge boost ahead of their big game against Wigan Warriors this week.

As they prepare to meet, the team news is now in.

Rohan Smith has made just one change to the 21 man squad that won at Hull FC last week with youngster Riley Lumb called up in the 21 man squad for the first time. Lumb, 18, joined the Rhinos from Castleford Lock Lane and joined the first team squad this season.

The Rhinos are still without Aidan Sezer and James Bentley as they follow the return to play protocols following concussion. Ash Handley, who missed last Saturday’s game with a foot injury, is included as he continues to receive treatment.

There is still no update on the situation surrounding centre Nene MacDonald who is the man who drops out of the 21 last week.

He was named and expected to be back from Australia to feature against the Black and Whites but didn’t return.

This even raised questions about whether or not he would remain at Leeds since then there has been talk around Leeds pursuing Brenko Lee, a former Wigan target no less.

Matt Peet has made one change to his 21-man squad for Saturday, as Tyler Dupree is back available following a failed HIA and replaces Harvey Makin.

The game kicks off at 14:45 at Headingley on Saturday. It is live on Sky Sports and forms the second leg of a brilliant weekend of TV action after St Helens vs Leigh Leopards and prior to Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils on Channel 4 on Sunday.