Leeds Rhinos star wants to repay club’s faith after signing long-term deal – ‘I wanted to stay here’

Drew Darbyshire
Jarrod O'Connor Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos hooker Jarrod O’Connor has signed a new deal that will see him stay at Headingley until at least the end of the 2026 season.

The 21-year-old, who has put pen to paper on a new three-year contract, has made 57 appearances for the Rhinos since making his first team debut in 2020.

On his new contract, O’Connor said: “This is the club that I knew I wanted to be at and I wanted to stay here.

“I’m grateful to be staying here for another three years because this is where I want to be.

“It gives me a lot of confidence from Rohan Smith and Gary Hetherington and everyone here at Leeds for putting faith in me and giving me that reward that I’ve been after.

“I just want to pay them back now with good performances heading into the back end of the year and making sure we get into those play-offs.”

“Even though we’ve had a few poor performances, we know what we can do and we know what we are capable of, it’s just about building into that.

“Heading into the play-offs, that is something that we are going to end up doing and I’m confident in the bunch of lads that we’ve got and the young lads who are coming through in the following years as well.”

Rohan Smith delighted to keep star hooker at Leeds Rhinos

O’Connor has become a mainstay in Smith’s since over the last year, starting at hooker for the Rhinos in last year’s Super League Grand Final defeat to St Helens at Old Trafford.

Smith said: “Jarrod has done extremely well over the last few years to develop his game.

“He is someone who listens to the coaches and is willing to put the hard work in and make the sacrifices required to support his team-mates.

“I am looking forward to seeing the progress he will continue to make over the next three years.”

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