Leeds will fight off NRL advances for their players

Gary Hetherington says Leeds are committed to keeping their young stars in Super League, following speculation linking Kallum Watkins with a move to the NRL.

Watkins, 22, was reported to have been approached by Cronulla Sharks, but the Rhinos chief executive has moved to dismiss these claims.

He said: “There will inevitably be a great deal of press speculation surrounding Super League elite players and the NRL. But most has no foundation and I can confirm Leeds Rhinos will not be selling any of our players to NRL clubs. 

“There has been no contact from Cronulla with either the club or with Kallum, despite misleading statements in the trade press. 

“If there was to be an approach, the answer would be an emphatic no. 

“I have spoken to Kallum about the speculation and he has also confirmed that all his ambitions are with Leeds Rhinos and England rugby league.”

Two of Watkins’ England team-mates, Gareth Hock and Lee Mossop, were today confirmed as signing for NRL side Parramatta for 2014, with many predicting even more British players will leave these shores to ply their trade Down Under.

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