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Leeds Rhinos utility Liam Sutcliffe has admitted he is getting to the stage of his career where he needs to establish himself in one position.
And he says in 2017, he will be trying to hold down a regular spot at half-back.
Sutcliffe played at stand-off during Leeds’ Boxing Day defeat to Wakefield last week, but with the likes of Danny McGuire, Jordan Lilley and Rob Burrow for competition, he will have a battle on his hands to retain a place.
But Sutcliffe doesn’t want to be regarded as a utility forever.
“I’ve been around the first team for a fair few years now so I need to be picking a position to make my own,” he said.
“I’ve been used as a bit of utility and been here, there and everywhere, but now I want to nail down one position and make it the one I’m renowned for.”
And despite being equally adept anywhere in the backline or at loose-forward, Sutcliffe wants to be regarded as a first-choice halfback in 2017 and beyond.
“Halfback is where I’m targeting; it’s the position I really want to nail down and make my own at this club in 2017, hopefully as a pivotal part of a Leeds team. I’ll get better there the more I play and the more I learn.”
The Rhinos were comprehensively beaten by Trinity last Monday, losing 30-6. But Sutcliffe has promised that Leeds will learn valuable lessons from the loss and they will be ready for the start of Super League next month.
“We’re only a short way into pre-season. You could say this is a bit of a guideline for us to see where we’re at and what we’ve still got to work on. We’ll look back at this and learn plenty of positives.
“In the first half we seemed pretty panicky. As halfbacks we weren’t really taking control out there and it was pretty clear to see. We’ll have to put things right in both attack and defence, so there’s a lot to improve on moving forward. We’ll come back in January ready to go.”