Super League 2024: Leeds Rhinos preview, players to watch and predicted finish

Rugby League World says

Of all the teams in Super League, Leeds have perhaps been the busiest in the transfer market. Others may have signed more new faces, but few have made such big changes to the spine of the squad.

With a new half back combination, a new hooker and a new full back big changes are ahead for the Rhinos, who most would agree have had a couple of underwhelming seasons. 

Starting 2022 poorly and staring relegation in the face Rohan Smith came in to replace Richard Agar and miraculously turned things around to guide the eight-time champions back to Old Trafford. That couldn’t be replicated last year and for the first time in four years they failed to make the play-offs.

But the new spine combination of Lachlan Miller (full back), Brodie Croft and Matt Frawley (half backs) and Andy Ackers (hooker) has the potential to breath new life into the Headingley club. If that potential can be realised, Leeds surely won’t miss out on the top six again. 

Three to watch

Brodie Croft has joined Leeds for significant money with the task of leading Leeds back up the table. The former Man of Steel should link well with Andy Ackers, who has also signed from Salford, but the success of a new combination with Matt Frawley, an arrival from Canberra, in the halves will be crucial.

Lachie Miller will also have a significant role to play in Leeds’ new-look spine. The former rugby sevens Olympian has joined from Newcastle Knights and the Rhinos are pinning their hopes on the speedster at fullback, having got rid of both Richie Myler and Luke Hooley in that position ahead of this season.

Harry Newman had better injury luck last year than in most, but his form fluctuated greatly. His subsequent England performances showed the centre that everyone knows he can be, but the 23-year-old still has some way to go. With his contract expiring at the end of 2024, rumours persist of his exit to the NRL.

Did you know?

Leeds United football fans still reflect bitterly on the controversial defeat by Bayern Munich in the 1974-75 European Cup final, but five seasons earlier, 1969-70, the city’s rugby league club were crowned kings of the continent after beating XIII Catalan, a forerunner of the Dragons, 31-5.


1 Lachie Miller, 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Harry Newman, 4 Paul Momirovski, 5 Ash Handley, 6 Brodie Croft, 7 Matt Frawley, 8 Mikolaj Oledzki, 9 Andy Ackers, 10 Tom Holroyd, 11 James Bentley, 12 Rhyse Martin, 13 Cameron Smith, 14 Jarrod O’Connor, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 James McDonnell, 17 Justin Sangaré, 18 Mickaël Goudemand, 19 Derrell Olpherts, 20 Morgan Gannon, 21 Jack Sinfield, 22 Kieran Hudson, 23 Leon Ruan, 24 Luis Roberts, 25 James Donaldson, 26 Corey Johnson, 27 Toby Warren, 28 Max Simpson, 29 Alfie Edgell, 30 Tom Nicholson-Watton.

Potential milestones

Andy Ackers needs 14 tries for 100 in his career…
Ash Handley needs 7 appearances for 200 with Leeds…
Rhyse Martin needs 46 goals for 500 in his career (conversions/penalties only, no field goals)…
Cameron Smith needs 22 appearances for 150 for the club 

RLW predicts: 5th

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 492 (January 2024)

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