Jack Broadbent eager to nail down Leeds Rhinos berth

Rising Leeds star Jack Broadbent has nothing against Featherstone – indeed he enjoyed a useful learning spell there back in 2019.

But the versatile 20-year-old would rather not make a Rovers return this year as he works to build on a highly encouraging campaign with the Rhinos.

Broadbent, who also impressed in the Championship for hometown club Batley in 2019, burst onto the scene at Leeds, for whom he made a handful of appearances in 2020, scoring nine tries in 14 outings, including four in the 48-18 home win over Leigh in July.

The club Academy product played on the wing that day but can also operate at fullback and in the centres and has played stand-off.

His name was among those mentioned when Leeds announced the resurrection of their dual-registration partnership with Featherstone, now coached by former Headingley chief Brian McDermott.

Rovers explained that the agreement with Leeds, who will visit the Millennium Stadium for a pre-season clash on Sunday, covers the Rhinos’ top 20 squad members plus Broadbent (number 23) and second rowers Sam Walters (22) and Levi Edwards (30).

And Leeds coach Richard Agar said: “It was only a few years ago when Ash Handley and Harry Newman were playing for Featherstone and the experience they gained certainly helped their development.

“Clearly Rovers will be vying for promotion this year, so we are extremely pleased for our players to develop in such a strong, professional environment.”

Broadbent, who played on the wing as Leeds beat Wakefield 34-6 on Boxing Day, says he wants to become a Rhinos regular.

“I want to be playing first-team rugby at Leeds every week,” he said.

“Obviously we have some world-quality players in my position on our edges but I’m going to keep pushing as hard as I can to get into this Leeds team first.

“But if I’m not, that’s when I’ll go out to Fev and get the game time.

“I think playing in the Championship really benefits players. I did it at Fev and Batley, so I’ve kind of been through it. I’m going to try my best whenever I’m playing.”

Leeds visit Bradford on Sunday week and host Hull FC in Tom Briscoe’s testimonial on Sunday, January 30. They then visit Hunslet to contest the Harry Jepson Memorial Trophy on Sunday, February 6 before their Super League opener at home to Warrington on Saturday, February 12.

“I played on Boxing Day, and it was a great hit-out,” added Broadbent.

“These next games are going to be really good for gelling and getting us closer together.”

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