Leeds Rhinos prospect Joe Gibbons sets out his ambitions

LEEDS RHINOS rookie Joe Gibbons is ready to step on the gas as he tries to follow in  his father’s footsteps.

Former halfback David Gibbons, now 47, made 19 appearances for the Rhinos between 1994-95 and the first Super League season of 1996.

Some of them were alongside his twin Anthony Gibbons, a fullback or centre.

Both David, who also played for Oldham, Batley and Hunslet, and Anthony are now assistant coaches (to Lois Forsell) of Leeds’ Women’s Super League side, while back rower Joe is in Rohan Smith’s first-team squad, having come through the Rhinos Academy ranks.

And the 20-year-old Wetherby Bulldogs product – whose elder brother Dave, a 21-year-old halfback, is with North Wales Crusaders having spent last year at Hunslet – is relishing his promotion.

He played in the Boxing Day home clash with Wakefield at Headingley and said: “That was quite surreal, because I used to watch from the South Stand as a season-ticket holder.

“To be on the other side of it, out on the pitch, was pretty special, and something I wasn’t expecting, because this is my first full pre-season.

“It was great to face some seasoned professionals, and while you make mistakes, that’s the best way to learn.

“I know I’m going to have to be patient, and the first aim is to make myself a regular and consistent performer in the Reserves, and that won’t be easy because we’ve a good crop of youngsters.

“But my ambition is Super League, and if there’s ever a chance to play, I’ll put my had up.”

Talking to the club website, Gibbons added: “I feel I’ve pushed on a lot in the last twelve months, and gained in confidence.

“Training with experienced players on a day-to-day basis is great, and can only benefit me.”

Having also visited Leigh, Leeds have further warm-up games at home to Bradford on Sunday (2.30pm), at Hull KR on Sunday, February 5 and at Hunslet on Sunday, February 12 (both 3pm).