Leeds Rhinos hand new contracts to five first-team players plus rising stars

LEEDS RHINOS have announced new contracts for five first-team players, among 15 deals handed to youngsters.

Riley Lumb, who shone on debut against Hull FC in April but suffered a hamstring injury the following week, has signed a contract until the end of 2027.

Fellow backs Ned McCormack and Alfie Edgell, who both featured in Leeds’ most recent win over Leigh Leopards, have each signed for three years up to 2026.

Forward Tom Nicholson-Watton – who has made four Super League appearances – has signed until at least the end of next season.

Ben Littlewood, an unused sub against Leigh as he awaits his club debut, is among ten other players to sign four-year deals.

The others are halfbacks Fergus McCormack, Harry Smith and George Brown, forwards Jayemm Oladipupo, Joe Butterfield and Jacob Stead, fullbacks Joe Diskin and Harley Thomas, and centre Marcus Qareqare. 

The longest deal sees loose-forward Presley Cassell agree a five-year contract, running until the end of 2028.

New sporting director Ian Blease said: “Leeds Rhinos has always been proud of its track record of not only developing quality, young talent but also giving opportunities for them to play at the highest level. 

“You only need to look at the contribution of Alfie Edgell and Ned McCormack in last week’s win over Leigh to see that continues to be the case. 

“This next generation will be hoping they too can make their mark and follow in the footsteps of fellow Rhinos Ash Handley and Harry Newman, who are both Academy graduates in the England squad this weekend.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to thank all staff who have worked on the development of these young players thus far, their tireless dedication over the years has led up to this commitment by the club, along with the support each player has received from his family and community club.”

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