Leeds Rhinos hooker Kruise Leeming, 25, has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Emerald Headingley until at least the end of the 2024 Super League season.
Leeming joined the Rhinos from Huddersfield Giants a year ago and was part of the Challenge Cup winning side at Wembley that capped his debut season at the club.
And now he says his new deal will boost his confidence going into the new campaign.
“It was an easy decision for me,” he said.
“The staff, players and fans have made me feel so welcome. To renew after just one year at the club says a lot. I am overwhelmed and thankful to Richard Agar in particular for the faith he has shown in me.
“My job now is to repay that faith over the next four years. I have had a good pre-season and I feel the fittest and fastest I have ever felt. Hopefully I can have a good year this season and I can make 2021 my year. Professional sport does have a cruel reality when it comes to contracts; if you don’t perform it can cost you your livelihood so it is nice to be rewarded for my hard work and have that security with a long term deal. It is a boost to my confidence to be able to build over the next few years.”
Leeming was part of the England Knights squad two years ago and will be hoping that a strong season with the Rhinos could push his chances of promotion to the full England squad in a World Cup year.
“I don’t think I have ever been this excited about the start of the season as I am about this year,” he added.
“We had a successful year last year but I haven’t played in front of the Leeds Rhinos fans yet and that is something I am desperate to do this season.”
Rhinos coach Richard Agar confirmed that Leeming’s new deal is a reward for his hard work since joining the club.
“I am pleased for Kruise that he has agreed a new long term contract with the club,” said Agar.
“He is still only 25 and a player with great potential. We have got good competition for the hooking spot in the team and that is only good for the squad as a whole. I think Kruise has worked hard to improve his game over the last season and I am sure he can continue that progression throughout 2021 and beyond.”