Leeds Rhinos eye Saints star

LEEDS RHINOS are interested in signing St Helens young gun James Bentley.

The talented forward, who is off-contract at the end of this year, is currently sidelined after breaking his leg in Saints’ recent Super League win over Leigh.

League Express understands Leeds have expressed interest in signing Bentley up for 2022.

The Leeds-born forward has impressed at St Helens this season, and in previous years, and was given the number 12 shirt at the start of this season.

He started in the second-row in last year’s Grand Final win over Wigan.

Bentley has made 39 appearances in Super League since joining the club from Bradford Bulls in 2018.

An Oulton Raiders junior, the 23-year-old started his career at Featherstone Rovers.

He then moved on to Bradford, playing 28 first-team games for the Bulls before his move to Saints.

Bentley can play at loose forward, hooker and in the second-row, and has also played five Tests for Ireland.

It is believed St Helens are keen to retain the versatile backrower but salary cap pressure could mean that they may struggle to match offers from rival clubs.

Bentley has been tipped by many to be a future England international.

This season he has averaged 41.4 tackles, 89.2 metres and 13 tries per game, and has scored one try.