Rhinos secure teenagers on long term contracts

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5th July 2013

Leeds Rhinos have been given a major boost ahead of tonight’s Super League clash with Warrington Wolves with the news that teenage stars Liam Sutcliffe and Thomas Minns, both 18, have agreed long term contracts with the club.

Sutcliffe, who will start for the fourth consecutive game tonight at stand off, has agreed a new four year contract, whilst Minns, who scored on his debut against Castleford last month, has signed a three year contract.

Both are England Academy internationals and have come through the Rhinos Academy system. Sutcliffe, a former Hunslet Warriors amateur, has emerged as one of the brightest young stars in Super League having made seven appearances already this season, scoring five tries. Centre Minns, who joined the Rhinos from Whinmoor Warriors, has been an outstanding player in the club’s Under 19 side this season having scored 14 tries in 16 appearances so far.

Commenting on the new contracts Head Coach Brian McDermott said, “We are delighted to have committed long term contracts with both these young men. As a club we have always prided ourselves on rewarding young talent from our academy and we have seen the benefits of that over the last decade. Obviously now there is more competition than ever for young talent from home and abroad but these players have made a commitment to each other and the club having grown up in our culture. Liam has handled the step up to Super League incredibly well and has certainly put his hand up for inclusion in the squad moving forward even when the injured guys are fit again. We had originally offered him our standard academy contract, which he had agreed to, however following his impressive performances we have already automatically upgraded him to the new four year deal. Thomas has come through a challenging route but he has overcome those hurdles and is a stronger person and player for it. He is a determined, talented player who I am looking forward to working with over the next three years to help him fulfil his full potential.”

Sutcliffe commented, “Growing up all I wanted to do was play for Leeds Rhinos and that is especially true now that I have made my debut and had a taste of Super League. This is my home town club and I want to help the team achieve as much as possible together. Having a four year contract is great for me because it gives me security to keep developing but I know it also means four years of hard work ahead of me.”