Leeds Rhinos have a history of terrific wingers from the likes of Alan Smith in the past to Ryan Hall in the modern era.
Hall won six Grand Finals with Leeds and is on the road to setting the record for the most Super League tries ever. Hall left the club at the end of 2018 to have a crack at the NRL with Sydney Roosters which was sullied by an ACL injury as he bid farewell to the Rhinos.
Fortunately for Leeds, they had Ash Handley to replace Hall and he and Tom Briscoe were excellent on the wings as the Rhinos won the Challenge Cup in 2020.
In 2022, Leeds added David Fusitu’a to their ranks with Briscoe becoming a crucial back up before leaving to the Leigh Leopards which prompted Leeds to sign Derrell Olpherts from Castleford Tigers.
Olpherts’ time at Headingley
The former Salford Red Devils winger joined Leeds on a two year deal with an option for a third year on the deal. Olpherts was awarded the number 16 shirt in 2023 and scored on debut against Warrington Wolves as well as a brilliant try against Catalans Dragons ending their unbeaten run to start the season.
But a defeat to Hull KR in the rain on a rough night alongside the likes of Luke Hooley against Jordan Abdull stalled his moment.
In 2024, he was been moved to the number 19 shirt and has been linked with transfers to Leigh Leopards and Bradford Bulls. This was especially the case because Wakefield Trinity winger Lee
Kershaw was training at the club amid speculation that he would sign. However, he is now set to join London Broncos in 2024 whilst the only other winger available, Joe Burgess, has joined Hull KR from Salford Red Devils. Thus, Olpherts is set to remain at Headingley.
2024 and beyond
Meanwhile, Olpherts impressed against Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day with two excellent tries and is now set to stay with the club. He could even stay into 2025 if he continues to shine.
When speaking to Serious About Rugby League earlier this year however, Olpherts felt that the club weren’t keen on keeping him beyond 2024. Time will tell.