Leeds Rhinos have announced that youngster Liam Sutcliffe has agreed a new four year contract with the club. The 22-year-old has already played 114 games for the club since making his debut in 2013 and was due to be out of contract next season – but his new deal will keep him at Headingley until at least the end of the 2021 season.
Commenting on his new deal, Sutcliffe said: “I am really pleased to have got it all sorted. People have been asking for a few months what I am planning for the future and I have had to keep my thoughts to myself. I am over the moon to have agreed a new deal now.
“Brian McDermott and I have been talking over the last few months and the more I spoke to him, the more I wanted to commit myself to this club. I am a Leeds boy and I love playing for this club so I am really looking forward to the future.”
“I am massively enjoying my rugby at the moment. We are guaranteed a home semi final now and we are eighty minutes away from Old Trafford. Everyone time you pull on a Leeds shirt you want to be doing that at a Grand Final and we now have chance to do that,” added Sutcliffe.
And Leeds coach McDermott insisted that securing Sutcliffe is an important part of the Rhinos’ plans for the future. He said: “The significance of Liam signing for us is big. We know all our young, quality players have a number of options to go elsewhere and the fact he has decided to stay with us is testimony to the environment that has been created at our club. We are excited to be working with Liam for the next four years at least and he is excited about being here.
“He has played a number of positions and offers quality at full-back, centre and stand-off and can also play in the back row. Whilst he wants to nail down a position for himself, the fact he can fulfil a number of roles for us makes him an invaluable member of the squad who will always be in the seventeen.
“We are currently in a transitional period and we are in a very good position within that process. We are coaching and mentoring our young people through so, by the time they need to take on the leadership of our club, they have been through a whole range of experiences with us but that only comes if you commit for a long period with us.
“Kevin Sinfield always used to say that the shirt at Leeds always weighs that bit heavier on this group of players than at other clubs because of the level of scrutiny and expectation that comes with being a Leeds player and I think that is still the case. The camaraderie they have with each other is unique and it takes a certain type of person to want to commit to us, knowing full well that you are more scrutinised here than at any other club. The rewards and the connection between the players behind the scenes is worth that extra pressure during the tough times and it is rewarding to see that Liam is prepared to commit to that,” added McDermott.