McDermott has confidence in Leeds halves

Leeds coach Brian McDermott is sure that his squad is well stocked with half back talent ahead of the 2017 season.

Whilst Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire are at the veteran stage of their careers, with both being 34 now, but McDermott believes that they can handle the job, with the support of Jordan Lilley.

“Another topic that people want to speak to me about are our half backs, which, of course, includes one of those exciting young players Jordan Lilley,” the Leeds head coach said.

“At the other end of the spectrum are Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire.

“When you look at our rivals around Super League, half backs are probably the positions that create most debate and it shows how difficult the job of recruiting world-class talent is in the current market.

“I can understand where those outside of our camp are coming from when they question us about having two 34-year-old half backs for next season.

“However, Rob had his best season in many years for us last year whilst Danny is the most determined man walking the streets of Leeds after a frustrating 2016 and will be keen, now he is fit, to get back to the form he showed in the Treble winning season when he was unstoppable at times, as he showed at Old Trafford. 

“Crucially, despite their age, neither player has suffered from chronic injuries such as back or joint problems that would only get worse with age and they remain hungry and ambitious.

“But more than that, I think it is important that we as a club are loyal to both these men.

“These two men have won more games for this club over the last fifteen years through their skill and ability than any other players and they have earned our loyalty. I know both will be key for us next season.”

McDermott also remains upbeat about the players in his squad, and feels that there is the talent there for the club to enjoy a successful season.

“I have been asked by nearly everyone I have spoken to since the end of the season about who we have signed and when we will be announcing them,” he said.

“My answer is simple but perhaps not the one they were hoping for!

“I am excited about seeing Brett Ferres and Kallum Watkins continue their new partnership, I am excited to see Stevie Ward back fit and producing the form that saw him become a first choice for the team.

“I am excited to see people like Jimmy Keinhorst, Mitch Garbutt, Brad Singleton and Keith Galloway with a full pre-season behind them.

“I am excited to see Adam Cuthbertson prove his critics wrong and get back to the form that saw him nominated for the Man of Steel. 

“We have invested in James Segeyaro and brought a world class hooker from the NRL to Super League.

“We have also rewarded our young players with improved terms that they have earned and deserve.

“In the salary cap era, if you fail to reward your emerging players then they become easy pickings for those who do not invest in nurturing young talent.”

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