Leeds Rhinos have enjoyed two pre-season hit outs already ahead of the 2023 Super League campaign.
Almost every Leeds players has been involved in one or the other, but one exciting youngster has been interestingly absent.
That is Corey Johnson who had hasn’t played against Wakefield Trinity or Leigh Leopards.
After the defeat against Leigh, Rohan Smith confirmed that this was because he was still recovering from back surgery and won’t play in the next few weeks:
“He had back surgery in September or October. He had a disc repair in his lower back. He’s almost in full training. He’s still being monitored a bit but Corey won’t play in the next few weeks.”
That said, Smith has a very high opinion of Johnson: “I have a very high opinion of him.
“I think he can be a long time Super League player as a hooker or a half. He has gone through a lot with his body being banged up.
“He showed at Magic that he can dig in. He will go into the reserves and then we will determine what the best path is for him.”
As he plots the path for Johnson, he also considered the paves of his other young players too:
“Luis has played Super League so he has a bit more of a proven path, Levi has only just turned 19. There is an undermentioned difference between playing Super League once or twice than every week.
“All players need some kind of stage progression into an every week player. Sometimes a young kid jumps in and stay but that’s a rarity.
“Those kids will get their chance when veterans are out but they won’t get their opportunity by playing, more veteran players will get first opportunity because they’ve earnt that right.”