England Academy forward signs new Rhinos deal

England Academy forward Muizz Mustapha has agreed a new two-year contract with Leeds Rhinos that moves him into the first-team squad for 2019.

Born in Offa, central Nigeria, Mustapha moved to Leeds when he was five and was part of England’s Academy squad that defeated the Australian Schoolboys late last year.

“I am really pleased to be joining the first team squad,” said Mustapha.

“It is a big reward for my hard work in the Academy and the success I enjoyed with the England Academy recently. This is what I have been working towards since I joined the club.

“It has always been a dream to earn a full-time contract with the club since I was young and I cannot wait to get started. I started playing Rugby League when I was at primary school and I fell in love with the game the first moment I played it.

Mustapha made his senior Rugby League debut for Featherstone Rovers in the final game of last season as a replacement in Rovers’ Championship Shield Final win over Leigh on dual registration and the forward can’t wait to rub shoulders with more first-team stars this year.

“The first team squad have been very welcoming to me and that has made it a great environment to be in,” he continued.

“I am challenging myself against world class players in training every day and that can only make me a better player. Hopefully, I can make my debut for the first team this season and gain as much experience as I can.