Highly-rated Leeds Rhinos youngster Bailey Aldridge makes surprise move

HIGHLY-RATED Leeds Rhinos youngster Bailey Aldridge has left the Headingley outfit and made a surprising move.

Aldridge, who plays at hooker, has signed for Oldham in League One on a two-year deal after progressing through the Rhinos youth system.

His impressive performances in the Leeds set-up earned him first team experience where he played under head coach Rohan Smith during two pre-season matches this year.

And Mirfield-born Aldridge arrives at Boundary Park in search of his first taste of professional rugby.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to prove myself in a better league and on a bigger stage. I’ve signed with Oldham to challenge myself,” he said.

“I had a bit of experience in the Rhinos first team in pre-season and I’m looking forward to showing what I’m made of in League One.

“It’s a privilege to sign for Oldham and I’m coming with an open mind to learn from the best. I reckon with the squad that we have, we’re going to be a real threat in this division and hopefully we can win some silverware.

“I’d like to think I have a very high skillset, my knowledge of the game is very good, and I’m a big threat out of dummy half; I’m also quite tenacious in defence.”

The 5ft 9in hooker played his amateur rugby at Batley Boys as well as Kippax Welfare and signed for Rhinos when he was 14.

During his time in the Rhinos youth set-up, he captained the under-17s side with his performances earning him a professional contract with the club mid-way through the 2022 season.

He was part of the academy side that defeated St Helens in a 26-22 victory in golden point to win the Grand Final, during that year.

On the way to the final, Aldridge scored three tries in nine appearances making him a key player in the side.

In the same season, he also represented Yorkshire in the Academy Origin series where he scored a try in the 34-14 loss against Lancashire.

Aldridge’s signing takes Oldham’s squad total to 20 so far for the upcoming 2024 season.

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