Rhinos could hack it in NRL – Langer

Australian Rugby League legend Allan Langer has said that three times Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos could hold their own in the NRL.

This Saturday sees England take on Australia in the second round of the Gillette Four Nations competition and Langer, who is the Assistant Coach with the Kangaroos, was at Headingley Carnegie Stadium as part of the build up to meet fans earlier this week.

A win for England will see them guaranteed a place in the Final at Elland Road on 14th November. That venue will also host Leeds Rhinos when they take on the NRL Champions Melbourne Storm on Sunday 28th February, kick off 6.30pm. The clash of the Champions from both sides of the world is already eagerly anticipated as it sees a repeat of their titanic battle from 2008 when the Rhinos beat the Storm to claim their second world title.

Commenting on the strength of the Rhinos, the Brisbane legend said, “You could put this Leeds side in the NRL and they’d do really well, I think maybe the top four or five sides from here would, its just that the depth isn’t the same after that. Jamie Peacock has been great over the last few years, our forwards are really going to have to stand up to the England pack.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Langer’s fellow Assistant Coach with the Kangaroos Royce Simmons. He added, “Leeds have won three Premierships because they’ve built from the bottom up and other clubs need to follow that. I’d been at Hull and when Graham Murray got offered the Leeds job he rang me and asked what should he do. I told him to take it with both hands, it was the biggest name over here and you could tell that because of the way they were bringing kids through that they were on the verge of big things.”

Simmons has had first hand experience of a former Leeds star, Gareth Ellis, this season, as he is also Assistant Coach at Wests Tigers, the club Ellis left Leeds to join this season.

He added, “It didn’t surprise us how well Gareth Ellis went, that’s why we went after him, and we were lucky enough to get him. He won the best and fairest player quite convincingly, ahead of the likes of Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall, he’s a super professional and a super bloke. I never heard Tim say that we had to teach him how to play the game, we were thankful to Leeds for all the good work that they had done before he arrived.”

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