Jones-Bishop boosted by Quins spell

Young Leeds Rhinos full back Ben Jones-Bishop says he has improved as a player and person from his season on loan at Harlequins during 2010.

The full back has returned to Headingley Carnegie ahead of the start of pre-season for 2011 and is looking to put pressure on the likes of Brent Webb and Lee Smith for the full back role next season. His form at Quins earned him a call up to Steve McNamara’s training squad for England and now the 22-year-old wants to build on his achievements in the capital.

He commented, “It is good to be back with the Rhinos. I think I have learnt a lot from my time at Quins. They are a great bunch of lads and we faced a lot of adversity, particularly at the start of the season. We stuck together though and I think everyone will be better for that during their career.

“It was a challenge being away from home but we had a couple of houses where all the players lived and that helped me settle in. I definitely feel I have matured as a person from my time down in London and I am looking forward to the start of pre-season and helping the Rhinos next season,” added Jones-Bishop.

Making the same journey from the Stoop next season is Quins Head Coach Brian McDermott who will become Brian McClennan’s assistant next season at the Rhinos. Jones-Bishop thinks it is a key appointment for the Rhinos as they look to bounce back in 2011. He added, “Brian McDermott is a brilliant coach. I really enjoyed working with him this season and it is great that he is coming back to the Rhinos. To have a coach of his ability in our backroom staff is great for next season, especially as he knows the club so well from his time here previously.”

Jones-Bishop suffered a horrific head injury during the season when he suffered a fractured skull in Quins win over Wigan back in April. However, he has now recovered and says that the incident is not something he thinks about too much. He added, “It is fine now and I have no worries about it. The only think left now is a scar but I’ve grown my hair a bit longer to hide that! I wore a scrum cap when I came back and I might keep that on for next season but I will see how things go.”

He was forced to pull out of the England squad due to a shoulder injury but says he will be back ready to stake his claim when pre-season begins. He added, “It was great to be included in the squad by Steve McNamara. At the start of the season all I wanted to do was play well for Quins so it was a real complement to get the call from Steve. Unfortunately, I had been carrying a bit of a shoulder injury and at the end of the season I needed an operation to clear that up. Everyone is progressing well with that now and I am confident I will be back and ready for pre-season.”

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