This Sunday, Adrian Morley will embark on the next stage of his career as a coach when Leeds Rhinos take on Hunslet at South Leeds Stadium in the Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Trophy.
Morley rejoined his first club this winter as part of Brian McDermott’s backroom team and the under-19s head coach – but he will take charge of the side this Sunday as the Rhinos look to start the new year with a win.
And the 19-man squad Morley will oversee on Sunday includes 10 players from the under-19s squad, with a number of members of the Rhinos’ first-team squad among the group as well.
“I am looking forward to Sunday’s game,” he said. “It is exciting for the lads with it being our first game of the New Year. There are a number of established players in the side along with the young lads who will get a chance as well. I have loved working with the young lads, I remember being in their position going through the same process. Our job as coaches is to help them achieve what they can in their career.”
During the close season, Leeds’ under-19s have trained with the first-team squad on a number of occasions: and Morley believes that will benefit them in the long run.
“There is no substitute for mixing with the first team,” he said.
“Every club I have been at we have had club sessions where the first team train with the academy and it has always been important here at Leeds. For our young players to be in and around the senior players and watch how they act, their mannerism and professionalism is vital. This Sunday they will get to see how they are on a matchday as well and that can be very beneficial.”
Leeds team to face Hunslet: 1. Reece Chapman-Smith, 2. Harry Boyes, 3. Jimmy Keinhorst, 4. Nathan Waring, 5. Ash Handley, 6. Liam Sutcliffe, 7. Cory Aston, 8. Jordan Baldwinson, 9. Sam Hallas, 10. Jack Ormondroyd, 11. Josh Walters, 12. Alex Sutcliffe, 13. Josh Jordan-Roberts, 14. Mikojai Oledzki, 15. Jordan Lilley, 16. Harvey Whiteley, 17. James Barraclough, 18. Conner Sunderland, 19. Tom Schofield