Leeds reject Brierley speculation despite player interest

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington has insisted that the club have no interest in signing Ryan Brierley from Leigh Centurions – despite the player making the club aware he would like to join the Rhinos.

After a blistering 2014 season, the Leigh half-back is believed to be in demand from a number of Super League clubs – one of whom was thought to be the Rhinos. However, Hetherington has insisted the club are not in the market for a half-back given the depth they have, saying that the club prefer to develop their own players as a priority instead of recruiting from outside of the club.

“I can categorically state that we have no interest in signing Ryan Brierley from Leigh Centurions,” Hetherington said.

“The players’ agent has contacted us to make us aware that Ryan wishes to join us but we are not looking to sign a half back as we have four top class options in that position with Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow and Liam Sutcliffe for next season already and an outstanding prospect in our academy in Jordan Lilley.

“It is inevitable that we get linked with players through the media and I can assure our fans that, in almost every case, the rumour has no foundation. I have spoken to Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont and reassured him that we are not in the market for his player or any other half back for that matter.

“Our priority is to develop players through our ranks and then to reward and retain them. We have always operated on a policy of reviewing players annually and elevating their contract to recognise the improvements they have made rather than when their contracts are due to expire and that is very much our focus at the moment rather than bringing players in from other clubs,” added Hetherington.