Out of favour Leeds Rhinos winger Derrell Olpherts makes permanent Championship move

Ben Olawumi
Derrell Olpherts

Derrell Olpherts in pre-season action for Leeds Rhinos against Wakefield Trinity - Alamy

Out of favour Leeds Rhinos winger Derrell Olpherts has made a permanent move to Wakefield Trinity, cutting short his time at Headingley to do so.

Olpherts, whose Rhinos contract was set to end at the conclusion of the current season, failed to leave his mark on Leeds having joined ahead of the 2023 season.

After just four tries in 14 appearances in that first campaign as a Rhino, the 32-year-old was linked with a move away from Headingley in the off-season.

And though one didn’t transpire then, it has now, after Olpherts failed to making the cut for any of Rohan Smith‘s first four matchday squads of the 2024 season.

The veteran reunites with former boss Daryl Powell at Championship heavyweights Wakefield, with Powell the man who took Olpherts to Castleford Tigers back in 2020.

Trinity‘s league season begins on Friday night with the visit of Bradford Bulls to a sold-out Belle Vue, with Powell’s side looking to bounce back from their first loss of the year – exiting the Challenge Cup with a golden point defeat at Featherstone Rovers last weekend.

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Out of favour Leeds Rhinos winger Derrell Olpherts makes permanent Championship move

Having teased a new signing, Wakefield confirmed Olpherts’ arrival via social media this afternoon, with a highlights package of the winger posted to their X account.

The 32-year-old provides depth in Powell’s ranks following injuries to former Huddersfield Giants & England star Jermaine McGillvary.

Speaking to Trinity’s club website, Olpherts said: “I’m extremely excited to be on board with Wakefield for this season. This is my hometown team and I can’t wait to pull on the shirt.

“I’m looking forward to getting in and meeting the boys and doing what I can to make it a successful year.”

Head coach Powell added: “With Jermaine McGillvary getting hurt, it left us a little bit light in the outside-backs.

“We ideally needed a big and physical back, and Derrell fits that perfectly. He’s strong out of the back field and he will really add to the depth and strength of the squad.”

Meanwhile, via Leeds’ club website, Rhinos boss Smith bid farewell to the winger as he said: “I would like to wish Derrell all the best for his move to Wakefield.

“We fully understand his desire to be playing regular first team rugby and were therefore prepared to grant him the transfer to Wakefield.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to thank him for his efforts whilst at Leeds.”

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