The Garry Schofield Column: Leeds Rhinos’ ’embarrassing’ decision shows no forward thinking

I HAD to smile when a mate messaged me and asked how myself, Ellery Hanley and Dave Creasser are fixed for playing for Leeds.

He was of course referring to confirmation that Ryan Hall will once again be pulling on a blue and amber shirt at the grand old age of 37.

Don’t get me wrong, Ryan has been a remarkable player over the years, one of the best wingers Leeds have ever had.

But to re-sign him at this stage of his career? To be honest, I find it embarrassing both for the club and Super League.

Yes, he’ll do a job, but if they still rate him so much, why didn’t Leeds bring him back when he returned from Sydney Roosters in 2020 rather than letting him have four seasons at Hull KR.

How will they use him? Maybe as a battering ram to bring the ball forward, because going by the way Ash Handley has had to feed off scraps or interceptions, they’re not too keen on traditional wing play.

And what does it say to the young wingers trying to make the breakthrough when, rather than give them the experience needed to develop and flourish, Leeds would sooner go with a veteran.

So much for forward-thinking!

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,428 (April 29, 2024)

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