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Honor James

HARDAKER BECOMES RHINOS NUMBER ONE

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England star Zak Hardaker has been rewarded for an outstanding season with the Champions in 2012 by being handed the coveted Leeds Rhinos number one squad number.

Hardaker has moved from the number four shirt he wore last season to the squad number worn by Brent Webb from 2007 until last season. As well as Webb, Hardaker follows in the footsteps of the likes of Richard Mathers, Gary Connolly, Francis Cummins and Iestyn Harris to wear the number one shirt. The four shirt is taken by new signing Joel Moon, who joined this week on a three year contract from Salford City Reds.

As a mark of the continuity within the Champions squad, there is only two more changes in the top twenty players. Teenage sensation Stevie Ward is elevated to 14 from 25 last season after an impressive debut season that saw him play in both the Challenge Cup Final and winning the Grand Final. Whilst new signing Mitch Achurch, who joins from Penrith Panthers, takes the 19 shirt vacated by Weller Hauraki.

Young German international centre Jimmy Keinhorst is promoted to 22 however the club have kept the number 25 shirt vacant and will allocate it after the pre-season programme to one of the young players training with the first team during the winter.

Commenting on the squad Head Coach Brian McDermott said, “Zak thoroughly deserves his promotion having been outstanding for us at full back last season. He continued that great form with England and I am sure he can kick on again next season.

“Likewise Stevie Ward impressed everyone at the club last season and has progressed immensely in his first full time season. Jimmy Keinhorst will be even stronger with the experience he gained last season in Super League and there is strong competition within the group as a whole,” added McDermott.

The squad list in full is:

1 Zak Hardaker

2 Ben Jones-Bishop

3 Kallum Watkins

4 Joel Moon

5 Ryan Hall

6 Danny McGuire

7 Rob Burrow

8 Kylie Leuluai

9 Paul McShane

10 Jamie Peacock

11 Jamie Jones-Buchanan

12 Carl Ablett

13 Kevin Sinfield

14 Stevie Ward

15 Brett Delaney

16 Ryan Bailey

17 Ian Kirke

18 Chris Clarkson

19 Mitch Achurch

20 Darrell Griffin

21 Richard Moore

22 Jimmy Keinhorst

23 Brad Singleton

24 Liam Hood

25

Phil Daly

Media and PR Manager

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Well done to Zac. I never doubted for a minute that he would be Leeds first choice No1.

Those of us who first saw him playing in the academy realised his tenure at Fev was always going to be short. A real talent. Thankfully, he signed a long contract which meant we got a fat fee for him that is virtually unheard of in recent times.

Well done Zac lad.

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I was starting to worry about the Rhinos, not having seen one of their press releases on here for nearly 24 hours.

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The squad list in full is:

1 Zak Hardaker

2 Ben Jones-Bishop

3 Kallum Watkins

4 Joel Moon

5 Ryan Hall

6 Danny McGuire

7 Rob Burrow

8 Kylie Leuluai

9 Paul McShane

10 Jamie Peacock

11 Jamie Jones-Buchanan

12 Carl Ablett

13 Kevin Sinfield

14 Stevie Ward

15 Brett Delaney

16 Ryan Bailey

17 Ian Kirke

18 Chris Clarkson

19 Mitch Achurch

20 Darrell Griffin

21 Richard Moore

22 Jimmy Keinhorst

23 Brad Singleton

24 Liam Hood

No it's not the "full squad"

20 Darrell Griffin

21 Richard Moore

22 Jimmy Keinhorst

23 Brad Singleton

24 Liam Hood

are all Hunslet players shurely???

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I'm a big fan of Ben jones-bishop and always thought he was being groomed for the rhinos #1 shirt, what do the rhinos fans think his best position is? Also Zak hardaker is a tremendous talent and another exciting young English back, the future looks bright for England.

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Zac, BJB and Watkins are not just good players, but really elegant runners. Together, they remind me of the Cronulla backs in the ET era, all of whom seemed to have a relaxed and smooth running style.

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Zac, BJB and Watkins are not just good players, but really elegant runners. Together, they remind me of the Cronulla backs in the ET era, all of whom seemed to have a relaxed and smooth running style.

All of them have some serious wheels too.

Remains to be seen which Moon turns up at Leeds but must say the Rhinos have a pretty handy looking backline for next season and will score plenty of tries. Don't think Leeds will be champions from 5th next season, 3rd at worst for me.

Good for the sport though, gives someone else the opportunity to do it.

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I'm a big fan of Ben jones-bishop and always thought he was being groomed for the rhinos #1 shirt, what do the rhinos fans think his best position is? Also Zak hardaker is a tremendous talent and another exciting young English back, the future looks bright for England.

I'd always thought he would be the next full back, and was surprised to see Hardaker there when Webb got injured. I'd expected to see BJB at 1 and Hardaker moved from 4 to 2. How wrong was I?!

Don't think Leeds will be champions from 5th next season, 3rd at worst for me.

I spoke to Big Mac at the champions' homecoming thing a few weeks ago and asked him to win from 8th, just to wind people up :)

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Tomkins is under pressure if he wants his FB position

Zak is a wonderful player, and like Sam a pleasure to watch.

Great news for England.

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I was starting to worry about the Rhinos, not having seen one of their press releases on here for nearly 24 hours.

That's a shame you must have missed their Black Friday sale announcement.

Anything I can get you? ;-)

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I was starting to worry about the Rhinos, not having seen one of their press releases on here for nearly 24 hours.

OH yes wheres Wendell?I miss all the civic news in the Warrington area :rolleyes:

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