Kruise Leeming appointed new Leeds captain for 2022

Josh McAllister
Kruise Leeming Leeds

Leeds have confirmed the appointment of Kruise Leeming as their new club captain for 2022.

Leeming, 26, joined the Rhinos in 2020 from Huddersfield and has already made 40 appearances for the club.

He made his England debut in 2021 and was named in the Super League Dream Team last season.

He succeeds Matt Prior as captain ahead of the new season.

Leeming becomes the first hooker to captain the club on a permanent basis in the summer era.

Leeds head coach Richard Agar said: “We are blessed as a team with a number of experienced leaders across our squad. Kruise is certainly one of those and I know it means a lot to him to be awarded the captaincy.

“He is a consummate professional who always looks to get the best out of himself and the team. I know he will do a tremendous job as captain and I look forward to seeing him lead the team out this season.”

Kruise Leeming on new appointment

“I am really proud,” Leeming said.

“I have so much passion for the club and our supporters and I am honoured to get the captaincy. It is a massive team effort. I am looking forward to doing something special with this group of players.

“In professional sport, one of the biggest accolades is that your peers think you can do the job. We have a great group of leaders and even though I have the C next to my name, it is a collective effort.

“I am going to keep being me; train really hard and care about the club and my own performance. It won’t alter my game but it has put a massive smile on my face.”

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Ash Handley to vice-captain the club

Agar has also confirmed that England international and winger Ash Handley will be vice-captain.

Matt Prior will continue to be part of the team’s leadership group.

Agar added: “I met with Matt at the end of last season and have continued those conversations. He did an outstanding job for us last season as the figurehead of our club but I know he is keen to lead by example with his efforts on the field and is happy to be part of our leadership group supporting the team in 2022.

“Ash Handley has developed into a key voice in our dressing room and on the field. His partnership as vice captain with Kruise will be a perfect blend between the two.

“They both epitomise the standards and behaviours we expect from our team.

“I agree with Kruise’s comments that we have so many leaders in our dressing room and any successful team is defined by the leadership within the group and the culture of the club and we have built a strong foundation on that basis to move forward this season.”

Leeds hose Hull at Headingley in the testimonial game for Tom Briscoe this Sunday.

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