Leeds Rhinos youngster Max Simpson has signed a new deal that will keep him at Headingley until at least the end of the 2026 season.
The 18-year-old linked up with the Rhinos first team squad in 2021 and made his first team debut last year before an ankle injury cut his season short.
Simpson, who has made four first team appearances, returned to fitness to play in Leeds’ annual Boxing Day friendly last year but then needed surgery on his knee after damaging his ACL in training which ended his 2023 campaign before it had started.
Despite Simpson’s setbacks, the Rhinos have shown faith in the former Kippax junior by handing him a new long-term deal.
Leeds coach Rohan Smith said: “Max is working hard on his rehab now with our medical and performance staff and I am sure he will come back in great shape.
“He is an exciting, young prospect who is well liked within our group.
“I am excited to see him continue to progress in the coming years.”
Leeds Rhinos youngster Max Simpson: It is great that the club have shown their commitment to me
Simpson says he is over the moon that the Rhinos have shown faith and commitment to him, and hopes to return bigger and better.
He said: “I had two more years after this and was hoping to push on after recovering from my injury but it is great that the club have shown their commitment to me.
“When you are coming back from a long-term injury you always have belief about what you want to do and what you have the ability to do but when other people show that faith in you, it does mean a lot.
“The injury is coming along slowly but I just have to keep ticking the markers off.
“I feel that next season I should be flying on the back of a big pre-season.
“It is hard to always be positive when you are injured but you just have to keep thinking about what you will be like when you are back on the field.
“We have got a few youngsters in the first team squad on similar deals to me in terms of their commitment to the club.
“A number I have come through the scholarship with or I have got to know in the first team squad and I feel we have a tight bond between the young lads; getting to play in Super League with them guys is special.”