Leeds Rhinos have completed some great business but just likes kids at Christmas, their fans want more.
The Rhinos have assembled an excellent squad for next year with their recruitment seemingly coming to an end with the confirmation of their squad numbers for the 2024 season. This disappointed fans who wanted to see the Rhinos sign a prop and bring in Lee Kershaw from Wakefield Trinity.
Despite this, the Kershaw rumour has continued to remerge however unlikely. The likelihood of the move is down due to the fact that Leeds are operating at a one in, one out recruitment policy at present so any new arrival would facilitate a departure. This is despite the fact that the club parted company with Richie Myler after he wanted a move to York Knights for next year.
If Leeds were to sign Kershaw, the likely departure would be fellow winger Derrell Olpherts who joined Leeds after a successful spell at Castleford Tigers having made his name with Salford Red Devils in 2018.
Olpherts future has repeatedly been questioned this off-season especially with the supposed interest in Kershaw. The rumours around both went into overdrive when Leeds fans thought they’d spotted Kershaw in training and claimed they couldn’t see Olpherts.
Yesterday, Serious About Rugby League revealed that the Rhinos had not signed Kershaw and it seems that has been confirmed by the fact Olpherts is definitely training with the club with the winger sharing pictures from this week’s training on Instagram.
Olpherts had been linked with moves to both Bradford Bulls and Leigh Leopards but is determined to stay at Headingley moving forward.
This means that both Kershaw’s and Olphert’s futures are a little clearer moving towards Christmas.
The former Salford winger was moved from the number 16 jersey to the number 19 shirt this year swapping places with James McDonnell who had an excellent first season with the Rhinos and deserved a starting 17 shirt.
It does make sense to move Olpherts down to 19 as well given he is a back up winger and unlikely to feature in Leeds’ first choice 17 at the start of the season with Ash Handley and David Fusitu’a cemented on the wings.
The Rhinos will be reliant on the former Castleford flyer next year after the departure of fellow winger Liam Tindall to Hull FC.