Alfie Edgell makes Leeds Rhinos admission after rapid Super League rise

Louis Chapman Coombe
Alfie Edgell Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Alfie Edgell in action for Leeds Rhinos in 2023

Leeds Rhinos youngster Alfie Edgell is loving life in the big time as he continues to impress at Super League level. 

The 19-year-old made his Super League debut from the bench in the final game of last season against Castleford Tigers, however this campaign he has tasted life in the starting 13.

Edgell made his full Super League debut at fullback against Hull KR earlier this season, and has since gone onto make five more appearances. With injuries to David Fusitu’a and Riley Lumb, Edgell has been thrown in the deep end on the wing against London Broncos and Castleford.

Speaking exclusively to Love Rugby League following his side’s 32-4 win over the Fords on Saturday, Edgell said: “I’ve loved it. Obviously you ride the ups and the downs and I’ve really felt that this year, but I think it will stand me in good stead for the future.”

He added: “I’ve played quite a bit of unexpected minutes; like the Hull KR game, that was about an hour before kick-off off! I’ve had a few more when I’ve found out like the day before as well.”

“My first game on the wing was a few weeks ago against London. I’m still getting used to that but I’m taking it in my stride. The better I do there at the moment the more I’m going to play.”

READ NEXT: Leeds Rhinos and Manly Sea Eagles are rugby league’s weirdos: and the stats prove it

Edgell might be a fresh face on Leeds’ right edge, but he has plenty of experience inside him. Brodie Croft, James McDonnell and Paul Momirovski have formed a potent combination on that right hand side, and the Kappax native said these three, but especially former Sydney Rooster Momirovski, are really easing him into life on the wing.

“[Paul] is really experienced, and knows the game really well. He’s a great talker too, so he’s really helped me out a lot.”

“I’ve just tried to do my job and contribute to the team,” Edgell continued. “But all the boys around me on my edge, every time I’ve played on the edge, Macca (James McDonnell) and Brodie (Croft) have really helped me out too.”

This experience inside him has seemingly brought the best out of Edgell too. He was incredibly impressive in their huge victory over the Castleford Tigers on Saturday, particularly with ball-in-hand.

READ NEXT: NextGen: Alfie Edgell – the Leeds Rhinos full-back who grew up idolising Danny McGuire

The win against their West Yorkshire rival’s was also Leeds’ first since early May, and Edgell said it the type of performance his team needed.

“I think it’s the type of win that we needed off the back of the past few weeks. It was really pleasing how we all stuck together and really worked hard for each other.”

Rohan Smith on Alfie Edgell’s development on the wing

Rohan Smith Leeds Rhinos Alamy
Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith

His shift across to the wing has also earned him high praise from boss Rohan Smith.

“Alfie’s learning now to play wing really well as well. He’s done that job in the outside backs a couple of times now. I thought going with a fresh body, particularly with that experience of Momirovski on his inside who reads the game so well, I thought Alfie would just be able to get on the end of that and he did a terrific job. He’s a great young kid.”

Edgell might be finding himself out on the wing more regularly too moving forward, as Smith confirmed Luis Roberts is suffering with a slight groin issue.

“Luis has been carrying a groin injury on and off for most of the year. He only just made it into last week’s game, but this week it was a disrupted prep.”

READ NEXT: Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s emotional tribute to Rob Burrow: “We’ve got to take inspiration”