Love Rugby League’s Drew Darbyshire caught up with Leeds Rhinos star Liam Sutcliffe ahead of Saturday’s Super League Grand Final against Castleford Tigers at Old Trafford.
How is the preparation going in the Leeds camp ahead of the Grand Final?
“It’s going alright. We’ve been doing a bit of weights and stuff like that, we’ll have a good week and work hard going into Saturday.”
You’ve played a number of positions this year, how has that been for you?
“I’ve played a fair few this year and in the last few years but I’ve been really happy just to try and nail down the centre position. I’ve been training and playing there quite a bit this year and it’s a role that I’ve been really enjoying.”
Will Leeds welcome the fact that they’re underdogs for a change?
“Yeah, Castleford in general have been outstanding this year. They are the real form team of Super League, they’ve never dropped off and come Saturday, we know that we are going to have to be at our best to beat them but it’s a game of rugby at the end of the day and anything can happen. I think form goes out of the window, they’ve done a job on us a few times this year but we’re confident with how we have been in the last few weeks going into this weekend.”
Even if the Rhinos fail to win the Grand Final, it has still been a fantastic year hasn’t it compared to the last year?
“Yeah it has. I think a few people would’ve wrote us off because of where we finished last year and I think to finish second and get to the semi-final of the Challenge Cup and to the Grand Final has been massive for us. We won’t be happy with being second best though, we want to go out and win the trophy on Saturday.”
How has the last two years been for the team?
“We’ve been through a lot in the last 18 months or so. This year has been absolutely massive for us while last year we had to do some soul searching and pick ourselves up. We’ve been in a really determined mood and I think you can see from the joy that we had on Friday that everyone was really happy. To be able to turn it around from where we were this time last year to now means a lot to us.”
Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire will play their final games for the club on Saturday. As a Leeds youngster, did you look up to them when you were growing up?
“I used to watch them as a kid growing up and they’ve been absolutely massive for Leeds in the time that they have been around and to send them off with another Grand Final ring on Saturday would really top off a good year.
“They were two people who I really used to look up to when I was growing up and even coming into the first-team so to train and play with them when I was younger has been massive for my development so just to send these two Leeds legends off with a win on Saturday would be great.”