Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott has admitted he understands if fans of the club are worried about their recruitment for 2015 – but has backed the club’s youngster to step up and have a strong year for the club.
Leeds have lost senior players such as Ian Kirke and Ryan Bailey, and have only signed NRL star Adam Cuthbertson in return. However, McDermott says the likes of Stevie Ward and Josh Walters – youngsters who have flirted with Leeds’ first team squad in 2014 – will make their mark this season.
“I know there’s some concern out there,” McDermott told the Yorkshire Post.
“I pre-empted what people would be thinking. There is some concern out there and a little bit of worry about what our squad will look like.
“I can understand that. I get it. You lose a Bailey and a Kirke and I can see why they think ‘who will we replace them with?’
“But I am really pumped that a Stevie Ward or Josh Walters, a Brad Singleton or Mitch Achurch will really step forward and make this season their own.
“And that’s to complement two of the best props in the country last year; Jamie Peacock missed out on Man of Steel by a hair’s breath and Kylie Leuluai had one of his best years for a while.”