Leeds Rhinos scholarship halfback Jack Sinfield, 16, has signed his first professional contract with the club and will get the chance to train with the first-team squad this season as part of his progression at the club.
Sinfield, who is the son of Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin, joined the Rhinos from Saddleworth and has impressed this season in the Under-16 and Under-17 teams to earn his new contract with the club.
Speaking about joining the Rhinos, he said, “It’s a dream come true. I can’t really believe it to be honest, but I’m really happy and buzzing to have signed my first professional contract.
“It has been really exciting playing for the Academy this season, especially being able to play at Emerald Headingley Stadium. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The last year has been tough on all the scholarship lads. We didn’t have any games last year because of Covid, but this year we have beaten everyone we have played, so we’ve done really well.”
Sinfield can play in either halfback position and, like his father, is a goalkicker. Earlier this year, along with a number of players from the Academy system, he had the chance to train with the first-team squad and he said it was a real eye opener.
The former Saddleworth School pupil commented, “I really enjoyed the session I had earlier on in the year. I felt like I learned a lot. It gave me an understanding of where I’m at in my game and where I can improve. I am looking forward to getting the opportunity to do it again soon.”
Leeds coach Richard Agar is looking forward to working with Sinfield. Agar commented, “I’m really pleased that Jack has signed. Obviously because of his dad, there are going to be comparisons for Jack and he’s probably going to face that for his whole career. As a young player coming through, he has been sought after by a number of Rugby League and Rugby Union clubs, such is his skill set. He has a terrific temperament and absolutely loves the game. He’s thoroughly professional and trains incredibly hard. From a playing point of view, he kicks the ball well, but he’s an ‘on-the-ball’ number seven, which is different from when Kevin came through. I know he developed as a halfback later on and throughout his career he played there a lot, but Jack is definitely in the mould of a traditional number seven that likes the ball in his hands and plays on the ball.
“He’s got an unbelievable kicking game for a young man, but he is also a big halfback and has grown so much over the last twelve months. He’s going to be a strong size for a number seven.
“We’re pleased to get his signature. It will come with some pressure with the name but I think he’s a kid that is not going to let that worry him one little bit. We’ve already seen that from working with him, and our coaching team have done a terrific job with him coming through our scholarship, that he is very much his own man,” added Agar.
Sinfield himself says he is happy to play wherever he can help the team most. He added, “I think mixing between stand-off and scrum-half has helped me this season because it’s about getting used to different roles in the team, so I enjoyed both.
“I am so grateful to my family for all the support I have had. My mum and dad do everything for me and I can’t thank them enough. I can’t put into words how thankful I am. I’ve been a Rhinos fan ever since I can remember. I was at Emerald Headingley on Sunday to watch the Warrington game and it is a real dream to think one day I could be playing in the first team in front of that crowd,” added Sinfield.