Winning one treble in a year is impressive enough – but could Leeds be set to do it all over again this weekend? It sounds a bizarre statement, but hear us out here.
As you know, this Sunday is the annual Sports Personality of the Year awards, hosted by the BBC and taking place in Belfast. Former Rhinos captain and Rugby League legend Kevin Sinfield is in the running for the big prize – but could the Rhinos be bringing a bumper haul of trophies home with them this weekend?
At the time of writing, Sinfield is still third favourite to win the award with most bookmakers, with odds on him finishing in the top three shortening by the day.
But there are also plenty of other awards up for grabs on Sunday – two of which we feel Leeds have a great chance of success in, too.
The first of those is one that Rugby League has enjoyed some success with in the past: the Team of the Year award. That was won by St Helens in 2006, ironically after they, like Leeds this year, won the domestic treble.
It’s chosen by a panel this year whereas it was a public vote in 2006 – but Leeds have surely got to be in the running. The Great Britain Davis Cup tennis team will be favourites after their success in winning the Davis Cup, but you certainly wouldn’t be able to rule out Leeds’ chances.
Then there’s the Coach of the Year award – and again, GB coach Leon Smith is the favourite with bookmakers at the moment. But surely Brian McDermott is worthy of a mention?
He won a well-known coaching award recently, claiming the UK Sports Coach of the Year award several weeks ago. The winner of that award has gone on and won the SPOTY equivalent on a few occasions in the past, so don’t rule McDermott out either.
Sinfield has gone on record and spoken publicly about what a huge opportunity his SPOTY nomination is for Rugby League. It’s hard enough to imagine him winning his award – imagine if Rugby League scooped a unique treble and yielded more silverware for Leeds Rhinos.
Now that would send the sport to the next level amongst the mainstream media.