Leeds Rhinos recruitment report: retention plans, 2025 line-up, possible targets analysed

Aaron Bower

Throughout the summer, every Super League club and their recruitment plans will be analysed by Love Rugby League: and it’s the turn of Leeds Rhinos to fall under the microscope.

The Rhinos are in somewhat of a state of flux at present given the fact they are looking for a new head coach. They have done some business, made some offers to players and are piecing together their 2025 picture – but it won’t be finalised until a new man arrives at Headingley.

Here’s a look at the Rhinos’ plans so far.

Players under contract for 2025

Fullback: Lachie Miller, Alfie Edgell, Riley Lumb
Wing: Ash Handley, Ryan Hall
Centre: Harry Newman, Paul Momirovski, Max Simpson, Ned McCormack
Half-back: Brodie Croft, Matt Frawley, Jack Sinfield
Prop/13: Mikolaj Oledzki, Tom Holroyd, Cameron Smith, Sam Lisone, Justin Sangare, Kieran Hudson, Leon Ruan, Tom Nicholson-Watton,
Hooker: Andy Ackers, Jarrod O’Connor
Second row: James Bentley, James McDonnell, Mickael Goudemand, Morgan Gannon, Toby Warren, Ben Littlewood

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Who’s still off-contract?

The Rhinos have five players off-contract going into the end of this season. They are: David Fusitu’a, Rhyse Martin, Luis Roberts, James Donaldson and Corey Johnson.

They have made a concerted effort to keep Martin, but interest from Leigh Leopards and Warrington Wolves remains extremely high. Roberts also has interest from other clubs in Super League.

Rohan Smith frequently left the door ajar for a deal for Fusitu’a when he was head coach, but the winger’s injury problems appear to hint towards Leeds moving him on at the season’s end.

Who else is joining?

Well, that’s the thing. Nobody is quite sure until the next head coach is announced. The expectation would be that if it is Brad Arthur who lands at the Rhinos, he would look to do some business in the NRL and bolster Leeds’ ranks with some talent he is well aware of – perhaps has even worked with before.

Ryan Hall is arriving on a one-year deal with the option of a second but as things stand, it’s fairly quiet at Leeds as they work out who will lead them into 2025.

Love Rugby League has been told that the Rhinos continue to remain active in scouring the Championship for young talent, too.

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What’s their quota situation?

As things stand, Leeds have five quota players under contract for next season. They are Brodie Croft, Paul Momirovski, Lachlan Miller, Sam Lisone and Matt Frawley.

That leaves them with two spots free to play with – and they will almost certainly use them. Ideally, they would keep Martin but he could be set to move on to pastures new, meaning the Rhinos would head into the market and source a direct replacement.

Where do they need to strengthen?

It depends how much the new man at AMT Headingley intends on continuing to blood the young players that Rohan Smith has integrated into the first-team setup in recent seasons.

There is an argument Leeds need another option on the wing, particularly if Fusitu’a leaves, but there are the likes of Alfie Edgell who could deputise there if Hall or Handley were unavailable.

The prospect of replacing Martin depends on a number of factors, including the health of players like Morgan Gannon. Leeds are well stocked for forwards and wouldn’t necessarily need a big name to replace Martin if he left, allowing them to explore other quota opportunities.

Seniority and depth in the outside backs, it seems – with Harry Newman and Paul Momirovski their only frontline centres – could well be a priority.

2025 line-up as it stands

Lachie Miller, Ash Handley, Harry Newman, Paul Momirovski, Ryan Hall, Brodie Croft, Matt Frawley, Mikolaj Oledzki, Andy Ackers, Tom Holroyd, James Bentley, James McDonnell, Cameron Smith.

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