Watkins hails Handley’s debut display for Leeds

Leeds centre Kallum Watkins believes that young winger Ash Handley looks right at home in the Rhinos first team.

Handley marked his Super League debut for Leeds with a try in last Friday’s win over Wigan at Headingley.

With Tom Briscoe unavailable due to a shoulder injury, Watkins feels that Handley’s grabbed his opportunity to shine with both hands.

“Tom’s got an injury, and Ash got a chance to play,” Watkins told Rhinos TV.

“He’s been fantastic for the academy, and fully deserved his chance.

“We saw clips of him in the friendlies, like Boxing Day, and he can finish tries off, given the opportunity and with a bit of space.

“He enjoyed a good game. He doesn’t look out of place at all.”

Handley himself was pleased to see some action in a game as a big as a clash with Wigan, and was delighted to mark his debut with a try.

“It was good to get over,” he said.

“But it was probably more important that we got the win, really.

“It was real special. I didn’t expect to be thrown in in this game.

“But when I was put in I was happy with it, and felt I did alright.”

The 19-year-old was also pleased that he had some more experienced heads around him to help when the pressure was on, particularly Watkins.

“He kept talking to me, and telling me where I needed to be,” Handley added.

“So he was a good help, and [so was] Zak Hardaker at the back telling me when I needed to drop and stuff.”

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