2015 saw Leeds Rhinos clinch the treble, rounding it off with a Super League Grand Final triumph against Wigan Warriors at Old Trafford, 22-20 victors at the Theatre of Dreams on October 10.
Having already clinched the Challenge Cup and League Leaders’ Shield, Leeds had to come from behind in the showpiece.
Leading 16-6 at the break after first half tries from eventual Harry Sunderland Trophy winner Danny McGuire (2) and Joel Moon, Wigan hit the front foot with four-pointers from both Dom Manfredi and Matty Bowen soon after the restart, with the latter also tagging on a penalty to take the scoreline out to 20-16 in the Warriors’ favour.
Brian McDermott’s Rhinos though would get the last laugh and seal a perfect ending to the careers of Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai via an unlikely source.
With just his second try of the season, youngster Josh Walters crossed with 16 minutes left to level the scores up at Old Trafford, with Sinfield’s successful conversion providing what turned out to be the winning two points.
We take a look at where the Leeds 17 from that night are today…
Leeds Rhinos’ 2015 treble winners: Where are they now?
Nine years on, Hardaker – who was crowned the Super League Man of Steel in 2015 – is one of five in this 17 who will still be playing in Super League come 2024.
Featuring in the NRL for Penrith Panthers as well as in this country for Castleford Tigers, Wigan and Leigh Leopards, he’s gone on to feature in two more Grand Finals, including another for Leeds in 2022.
The 32-year-old lifted the Challenge Cup for a third time with Leigh in the season just gone.
Winger Briscoe is one of Hardaker’s team-mates at Leigh, also joining Adrian Lam’s side ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Now 33, the flier made the move to Leigh from Leeds having remained at Headingley until the end of 2022, with his 208th and final Rhinos appearance coming in the Grand Final against St Helens.
Having scored five tries in the 2015 Challenge Cup final for Leeds against Hull KR, he crossed under the Wembley arch oncemore against the same opponents as the Leopards lifted the cup back in August.
Transforming from a centre into a forward over the last few years, 32-year-old Watkins has been with Salford Red Devils since late 2020, and played in the Challenge Cup final against Leeds just a few weeks into his time in Greater Manchester.
He’d departed the Rhinos the year prior after more than 250 appearances and more than a decade at Headingley, taking up the opportunity of an NRL contract with the Gold Coast Titans.
After a short while with the Titans, he penned a deal to return to Super League with Toronto Wolfpack, but joined Salford without an appearance for the Canadian outfit following their financial demise. Earning an international recall, Watkins represented England at the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
Australian back Moon – who played in the NRL for Brisbane Broncos and the New Zealand Warriors – retired at the end of the 2018 campaign after six seasons and 170 appearances for the Rhinos, joining ahead of 2013 from Salford (then City Reds).
The 35-year-old would go on to sign for Queensland Cup outfit Sunshine Coast Falcons back Down Under ahead of the 2020 season, but never made an appearance, re-announcing his retirement due to a chronic knee injury.
Away from the game, Moon set up his own accountancy firm in Leeds back in 2013. It would appear that business is still going today!
Hall – who has played 45 games for England – also departed Headingley at the end of the 2018 season having featured over 300 times across all competitions for his hometown club.
Still playing to this day with Hull KR, he surpassed 300 appearances in Super League alone in the season just gone.
The veteran winger – who turned 36 last month – is also fast closing in on the all-time Super League try-scoring tally held by former Rhinos team-mate McGuire, now just seven away from the record of 247. A six-time Super League champion, Hall has also tried his hand over in the NRL, featuring 11 times for Sydney Roosters.
Kevin Sinfield (captain)
After over 500 appearances for the Rhinos, Sinfield was one of the trio to call time on his rugby league playing career at the end of that glorious 2015 season, joining sister rugby union club Yorkshire Carnegie – now known as Leeds Tykes.
Retiring at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, the Oldham-born ace has held a number of coaching positions in both league and union, even taking temporary charge of Leeds during the 2021 season.
It’s Sinfield’s support of former team-mate Rob Burrow that’s been most notable over the last few years however. As we’ll detail further down in this article, Burrow was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019, with Sinfield so far completing four heroic challenges to fundraise for his old pal and the MND community.
The latest of which came earlier this month, and saw him run seven ultramarathons in seven days across seven different cities in the UK and Ireland. ‘Sir Kev’ still isn’t an official title, but both Sinfield and Burrow were awarded CBE’s in the New Year Honours list, a richly deserved step forward.
Legendary half-back McGuire won the Harry Sunderland Trophy for a second time, one of only three men to do so alongside team-mates Sinfield and Burrow.
Departing Leeds at the end of the 2017 campaign, Mcguire eventually retired two years later having made 45 appearances for Hull KR, scoring nine tries in the process. He would take up a coaching role at Craven Park, taking interim charge of the Robins at the back end of 2022 following the departure of head coach Tony Smith.
After a year as Willie Peters’ assistant, the 41-year-old has departed for pastures new and Castleford. Having turned down the head coach role at the Jungle, he will be Craig Lingard’s number two in 2024.
New South Wales ace Garbutt donned a shirt for both Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos in the NRL before joining Leeds midway through the 2015 season, going on to spend three-and-a-half years at Headingley.
The prop, like McGuire, moved on to Hull KR from the Rhinos, also featuring in both the Championship and Super League for Toulouse Olympique.
Garbutt, 34, cut short his time with Toulouse to move into a player-head coach role with French Elite Championship outfit Saint-Gaudens Bears. At the time of writing, they sit 6th in the division.
England and Great Britain international Burrow would play on for another two seasons after the Rhinos’ 2015 heroics, bowing out of the game with 216 tries in 523 career appearances as a certified legend.
An eight-time Super League champion, the half-back was tragically diagnosed with MND in December 2019. Four years on, alongside wife Lindsey, children Maya, Macy and Jackson, Sinfield, family, friends, the rugby league family and the rest of the MND community, he’s still fighting.
Burrow was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List, and a CBE in the 2024 edition alongside Sinfield. The 2022 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason award winner is also in the Rhinos’ Hall of Fame and has an Honorary degree of Doctor of Sport Science from the Leeds Beckett University.
2003 Man of Steel Peacock won Super League three times with Bradford Bulls before joining Leeds ahead of the 2006 campaign.
Over the 10 seasons which followed, he’d add six Super League Grand Final triumphs, two Challenge Cups, two World Club Challenge wins and two League Leaders’ Shields, also starring for England and Great Britain.
Now 46, Peacock joined Hull KR in a role as ‘Football Manager’ following his departure from Headingley, but would pull on a shirt four more times at the end of the 2016 season with the Robins’ squad depleted by injuries. More recently, Peacock has worked as a pundit, including for ViaPlay Sports.
Aussie forward Delaney had already made 81 NRL appearances by the time he arrived in West Yorkshire ahead of the 2010 season, announcing his arrival with a try on his competitive debut against Crusaders.
Eight years later, he departed Headingley as a four-time Super League champion. Notably, Delaney’s final game for the Rhinos came in July 2018, sustaining a facial injury with required surgery. He would join Featherstone Rovers ahead of 2019, but after the facial injury flared back up in a pre-season game against Halifax Panthers, he announced his immediate retirement.
The 38-year-old has had some interesting coaching roles since, including as an assistant at the New York City Knights and as Director of Rugby at the New Earswick All Blacks. More recently, he’s been back in this country with both York & Hull KR.
Having retired in 2019, seven-time Super League champion Ablett founded ‘Ablett Plumbing & Heating’ in Leeds, his home city. He’d studied the trade throughout his playing career,
The ex-forward debuted for the Rhinos in 2004, and like many in this side, would never play for another club, at least not permanently. His only other team were London, featuring five times as a loanee for the Broncos in 2005.
Ablett also made seven appearances for England on the international stage, featuring against both Australia and Ireland in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Barrow-born powerhouse Singleton – an Ireland international – featured 178 times for Leeds between 2011 and 2019, with a splattering of appearances either on loan or dual-registration at Dewsbury Rams, Wakefield Trinity, Hunslet and Featherstone mixed in.
After stints with both Toronto & Wigan, the forward joined Salford earlier this year in a swap deal which saw Tyler Dupree head the other way to the DW Stadium.
The 31-year-old – who won the Challenge Cup with Wigan in 2022 – is contracted with the Red Devils until the end of the 2025 season.
Leeds Rhinos Interchanges
Legendary prop Leuluai – whose son Marley is now on the books of Premier League football club Burnley – called time on his playing days after this Grand Final win, the sixth of his career earned in his 265th and final competitive appearance for the Rhinos.
The Samoa and New Zealand international more than left his mark at Headingley in a nine-season spell having arrived from Down Under ahead of the 2007 season. Prior, he’d turned out for Balmain Tigers, Wests Tigers, Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels and Manly Sea Eagles. After retiring, he also served Leeds as their Player Welfare Officer.
Giving an exclusive interview to Love Rugby League earlier this month, Leuluai detailed what his current role entails, the Head of Rugby Operations at Warrington Wolves.
Cuthbertson spent six seasons at Headingley having joined from NRL outfit Newcastle Knights. Prior, he’d also featured for hometown club Manly Sea Eagles, Cronulla Sharks and St George Illawarra Dragons among Australia’s elite.
The forward – who also spent time as the Rhinos women’s head coach – made 157 appearances for Leeds, winning two Super League titles, before moving on to York ahead of the 2021 season.
Also featuring for Featherstone, the 38-year-old is now back Down Under as the ‘Operations Co-ordinator’ at Queensland Cup outfit Mackay Cutters.
Leeds-born Germany international Keinhorst – who started out in rugby union -, signed for his hometown club ahead of the 2012 season, and actually got the assist for Walters’ winner at Old Trafford.
With loans at Hunslet, Wakefield and Widnes Vikings thrown in, the utility scored 32 tries in 90 appearances for the Rhinos before departing for Hull KR in 2019.
Now 33, the utility has linked up with Championship outfit York this off-season on a one-year deal. He’s already appeared for the Knights as a loanee, as well as enjoying temporary stints at both Castleford and Keighley Cougars.
The man of the moment, rugby union convert Walters was still two months off his 21st birthday when he scored the winning try, etching his name into the history books forever and promising so much, though it wasn’t to be.
He’d appeared in the Championship on dual-registration for Hunslet throughout the 2015 campaign, and would sporadically feature for Featherstone over the next few years in-between run outs for Leeds before departing permanently for Featherstone ahead of 2019 having made 61 Rhinos appearances (17 starts).
The Surrey native would go on to join London before dropping out of the game, reverting back to union with non-professional outfit Richmond while also holding roles as a landscaper and construction worker. Having just turned 29, Walters is now a self-employed personal trainer working out of a gym in Manchester.
Head coach: Brian McDermott
McDermott spent seven-and-a-half years at the Headingley helm, leading the Rhinos to four Super League titles, with this triumph in 2015 the third of those. A chunk of that time also saw him hold a role as the United States’ head coach.
Let go by Leeds in July 2018, the veteran coach would guide Canadian outfit to promotion up to Super League in 2019, and following their demise during the COVID-19 Pandemic, took the reins at Featherstone, but lost out to Leigh – then Centurions – in the race for promotion and departed after just one season.
The 53-year-old spent 2023 as the assistant coach to Adam O’Brien at NRL outfit Newcastle Knights, helping to guide them into the second week of four in the end of season play-offs after a 5th place finish.
Wigan Warriors’ 2015 Super League Grand Final line-up
For reference, here’s the Wigan team from the 2015 Super League Grand Final…
Starting 13: Matty Bowen, Dom Manfredi, John Bateman, Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, George Williams, Matty Smith, Dom Crosby, Micky McIlorum, Ben Flower, Joel Tomkins, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin (captain)
Interchanges: Sam Powell, Tony Clubb, Lee Mossop, Larne Patrick
Head coach: Shaun Wane