Where are they now? The Leeds Rhinos side that beat London Broncos in the 1999 Challenge Cup final

Ben Olawumi
Leeds Rhinos celebrate 1999 Challenge Cup final triumph

Leeds Rhinos celebrate their 1999 Challenge Cup final triumph

To this day, no team has ever scored more points in a Challenge Cup final than Leeds Rhinos in 1999, when they thumped London Broncos 52-16 at the ‘old Wembley’.

In doing so, in front of 73,242 spectators, the Rhinos tasted silverware for the first time in a decade, and lifted the Challenge Cup for the first time in over 20 years.

It remained the biggest winning margin in a Challenge Cup final until 2015, when Leeds themselves beat Hull KR 50-0 under the arch at the ‘new Wembley’.

Greg Fleming, Martin Offiah & Robbie Simpson all scored tries for the Broncos in the ’99 showpiece, with Rob Smyth converting twice, but Leeds were dominant throughout, putting on a show with nine tries of their own as they cantered to glory.

With the two sides meeting again this weekend, below, we look at where the Rhinos side from the semi-final in 2017 are today…

1. Iestyn Harris

Leeds Rhinos captain Iestyn Harris (right) & man of the match Leroy Rivett (left) hold aloft the Challenge Cup following their 1999 triumph

Leeds paid £350,000 for Harris from Warrington Wolves in 1997, a record transfer fee at the time. The Great Britain & Wales dual-code international would go on to make 139 appearances for the Rhinos, and is still their second-highest points scorer of the summer era (1455) – behind only Kevin Sinfield (3967).

The versatile back scored 20 of Leeds’ 52 points in this final, scoring a try and kicking eight conversions. Departing for rugby union, Harris returned to league with Bradford Bulls in 2004 and spent time with Featherstone Rovers before hanging up his boots.

His coaching exploits involve Crusaders, Salford Red Devils & the Wales national side as well as time as an assistant coach at Wigan Warriors. But now 48, the Oldham-born ace is an agent across the worlds of sport & entertainment.

2. Leroy Rivett

Rivett was the man of the match in this final triumph, responsible for 16 of Leeds’ 52 points with four tries on the day. The Leicester-born winger is another who spent time in the world of rugby union, featuring for Sale Sharks & Otley in the middle of a career which saw him don a shirt for 11 different rugby league clubs, including French outfit Villefranche.

The 47-year-old retired from the game in 2009 following a two-year stint with Rochdale Hornets which saw him surpass the milestone of 200 career appearances. Rivett still lives in Leeds, and is now has a job in the Youth Justice Service as a mentor for struggling teens.

3. Richie Blackmore

Richie Blackmore
Richie Blackmore in action for Leeds Rhinos in the 1999 Challenge Cup semi-final against Bradford Bulls

25-time Kiwi international Blackmore arrived at Headingley from the Auckland Warriors in 1997 having previously made over 100 appearances in the British game for Castleford. This was actually fourth of just six games he’d play in 1999, suffering a serious leg injury not long after the cup triumph.

The centre, now 54, scored 29 tries in 78 Rhinos appearances overall – and also featured for rugby union outfit Leeds Tykes – before departing for a swan song with the New Zealand Warriors in 2001. As far as we’re aware, as he has been doing since hanging up his boots, Blackmore is coaching in New Zealand, and has made a handful of media appearances recently.

If anyone knows any more about what he’s up to now, please do get in touch!

4. Brad Godden

Another try-scorer at Wembley, ex-Newcastle Knights & Hunter Mariners centre Godden rounded off his career at Leeds. The Australian, who formed part of the Kangaroos’ World Cup squad in 1992, amassed 52 appearances across two seasons at Headingley.

’99 was the last of those, and he scored 18 tries in his two years with the Rhinos. Former versatile back Godden now works in the construction industry Down Under, specialising in residential properties.

5. Francis Cummins

Francis Cummins
Francis Cummins pictured en-route to scoring a try for Leeds Rhinos in their 1999 Challenge Cup final triumph against London Broncos

Cummins, born in Dewsbury, spent his entire playing career donning the colours of the Rhinos. Debuting in 1993 and retiring in 2005, he featured 331 times for Leeds, scoring 171 tries including one in this final triumph. The only other shirts he did don were at representative level – for Great Britain, England, Ireland & Yorkshire.

Cummins continued in the game on the coaching front, becoming an assistant at Leeds and then Bradford, where he eventually received the head coach gig in 2013. The 47-year-old’s only other head coach role came at Widnes Vikings five years later, now holding a role as Hull FC’s Head of Emerging Talent. He has been assisting Simon Grix following Tony Smith’s departure.

6. Daryl Powell

Having already made over 350 career appearances, Powell joined Leeds in 1998 and would round off his playing days with the Rhinos, featuring 89 times for them before retiring in 2001 and being handed the head coach’s role at Headingley. Remarkably, the ex-Great Britain, England & Yorkshire representative is still coaching today – 23 years on.

With spells in charge of Keighley Cougars, Featherstone Rovers, Castleford Tigers, Warrington Wolves, Ireland & Leeds Tykes (rugby union) as well as the Rhinos, the 58-year-old had already surpassed 500 games as a coach by the time he took the helm at newly-relegated Wakefield Trinity at the start of this season.

Powell has already led Trinity to silverware in the shape of the 1895 Cup, and they look on course for a return to Super League, a force on and off the field this term.

7. Ryan Sheridan

Ryan Sheridan
Ryan Sheridan in action for Leeds Rhinos in the 1999 Challenge Cup final against London Broncos

Sheridan and Powell played alongside one another for Sheffield Eagles as well as Leeds, and where Powell has gone coaching wise, his former half-back partner has tended to follow as his right-hand man until recently. Now, the 49-year-old is an assistant to Mike Eccles at London Broncos.

The Dewsbury-born ace – who represented Ireland, Great Britain & Yorkshire – made over 300 career appearances during his playing days, scoring 59 tries in 154 appearances for Leeds. After departing Headingley at the end of the 2002 season, he spent time with both Widnes & Castleford before rounding his career off with hometown club Dewsbury in 2005.

8. Barrie McDermott

Oldham-born McDermott, now 51, also got on the scoresheet with a try in this final triumph, one of 40 he got in Leeds colours across 283 appearances. He arrived in West Yorkshire from Wigan in 1995, and would remain with the Rhinos for a decade, with the only other club he featured for during that time being Bramley, making four appearances as a loanee in 1997.

The prop – a Great Britain, England, Ireland & Lancashire representative – rounded off his career with a year at Widnes in 2006, and moved into an off-field role back at Leeds once he’d hung his boots up. Now, of course, we see him on our TV screens as part of Sky Sports’ pundit roster, and when he’s not doing that, he’s at Headingley entertaining in the hospitality lounges!

9. Terry Newton

Terry Newton
Terry Newton in action for Leeds Rhinos in the 1999 Challenge Cup final against London Broncos

Born in Wigan, the late Newton started his professional career with Leeds in 1996. He would make 83 appearances for the Rhinos before linking up with hometown club Wigan at the turn of the millennium, and another 186 appearances for the Cherry & Whites followed over the next six seasons.

During his time with the Warriors, Newton earned representative honours with Great Britain, England & Lancashire. After four seasons with Bradford, he featured twice for Wakefield in the 2010 season, ending his career with 111 tries 393 appearances. Tragically, he was found dead in September 2010 aged 31.

10. Darren Fleary

Fleary was one of nine Keighley players who signed for Leeds in 1997 for a combined fee of £25,000, and made 127 appearances for the Rhinos before departing at the end of the 2002 season. The forward joined Huddersfield Giants and would finish his playing days with Leigh – then under the ‘Centurions’ tagline – in their first-ever Super League season in 2005.

By the time the Great Britain, England & Yorkshire representative had retired, he’d made almost 400 career appearances, and took up a job at Armley Jail in Leeds as a women’s prison officer.

11. Adrian Morley

Adrian Morley
Adrian Morley in action for Leeds Rhinos in the 1999 Challenge Cup final against London Broncos

Morley is simply one of the most iconic forwards we’ve ever seen in rugby league, making just three shy of 500 club career appearances, but almost 600 when you include the 60 caps he picked up between England & Great Britain. The Salford-born ace began his career with Leeds and played 149 games for them before departing for Australia and Sydney Roosters in 2000.

Writing his name into the history books Down Under, he made a brief return to Super League on loan with Bradford in 2005 – helping them to win the Grand Final against Leeds – before permanently moving home as he joined Warrington in 2007. A stint at hometown club Salford rounded off his career, and Morley hung up his boots at the end of the 2015 season aged 38.

Now 47, he is a Business Development Specialist for a construction resource firm, and also the director of ‘Forward Pack’ – a business consultancy.

12. Anthony Farrell

55-year-old Farrell had already made over 200 appearances between hometown club Huddersfield & Sheffield by the time he arrived at Headingley in 1997. And by the time he left the Rhinos four years later, he’d added another 146 onto his tally. Also featuring for Wales, England & Yorkshire, the forward linked up with Widnes following his departure from Leeds.

Finishing his career at Halifax in 2004, Tony Anderson’s sacking saw him handed the head coach’s gig, first on a temporary basis and then on a permanent one after he’d saved them from relegation. That job came to an end in 2006, and 18 years on, he is now a prison officer.

13. Marc Glanville

Marc Glanville
Marc Glanville (carrying the ball) n action for Leeds Rhinos in the 1999 Challenge Cup semi-final against Bradford Bulls

Wagga Wagga-born Aussie Glanville – who featured for New South Wales at country level – rounds off the starting 13. He amassed almost 200 first-grade appearances Down Under between St George Dragons & Newcastle Knights prior to joining Leeds in 1998.

In his two seasons at Headingley, Glanville made 52 appearances and scored five tries. Since returning Down Under at the end of the ’99 season, the 58-year-old has held a wide variety of roles – including as a Business Development Manager for a law firm. He is now back in the game though as the General Manager of Newcastle Rugby League, a position he’s held since February 2022.

Marcus St Hilaire (Interchange)

St Hilaire – who represented both England & Ireland – came off the bench to score a try in this final triumph, joining Leeds midway through the 1996 campaign from hometown club Huddersfield. Making 111 appearances for the club, he remained with the Rhinos until midway through the 2002 season, when he re-joined the Giants.

A stint at Bradford followed before he hung up his boots in 2011 after four seasons with Oldham, making more than 350 career appearances in total. The 47-year-old now works in education as an Inclusion Support Worker.

Lee Jackson (Interchange)

Lee Jackson
Lee Jackson (carrying the ball) in action for Leeds Rhinos in 1999

The most expensive hooker in rugby league history, Jackson cost Sheffield £83,000 in 1993 when they bought him from Hull FC, and he would spend time Down Under with both South Sydney and Newcastle Knights before Leeds snapped him up in ’99. He spent just two seasons at Headingley before re-joining hometown club Hull, and eventually ended his playing days at York.

As well as Great Britain & England, Jackson represented Humberside, Yorkshire, the Rest of the World & featured in a National League Two Dream Team in 2003 while at York, beating the ‘New Zealand Residents’. Retiring in 2005, the 55-year-old is the owner of his own property maintenance company in Hull. He’d previously delivered cars and been a taxi driver!

Jamie Mathiou (Interchange)

Gold Coast native Mathiou, a three-time Ireland international, played for the North Sydney Bears & the North Queensland Cowboys in Australia before Leeds signed him in 1997. The prop would go on to make 136 appearances for the Rhinos, with exactly 100 of those seeing him enter the action off the interchange bench, including this one.

With four tries scored during his time at Headingley, he left at the end of the 2001 season and having made the move back Down Under, Mathiou captained the Ipswich Jets for the next two seasons in the Queensland Cup. Now 51, the Aussie is the owner of a national commercial maintenance business. He had previously held roles behind the scenes with various NRL clubs.

Andy Hay (Interchange)

Andy Hay
Andy Hay in action for Leeds Rhinos in 1999

Loose forward Hay began his career with hometown club Castleford, but joined Leeds from Sheffield in 1997. Scoring 50 tries for the Rhinos, he made 165 appearances before departing Headingley at the end of the 2002 season and joining Widnes. Surpassing the milestone of 300 career appearances, he also spent time with Doncaster before rounding his career off back at Sheffield.

Now 50, Hay has held a number of coaching roles in the years since his retirement – most notably being Featherstone’s head coach from 2013 to 2014. The German rugby league federation announced his appointment as their national team’s Performance Director back in 2021, and he remains with them today.

Head coach: Graham Murray

Australian Murray was in charge at Headingley from 1998 to 1999, with Leeds the only club in the British game he took charge of over the course of an impressive career. Prior to the Rhinos, Down Under, he’d already been at the helm of both the Illawarra Steelers & Hunter Mariners as well as the Fiji national side.

Murray – who featured for Parramatta Eels & South Sydney during his playing days – would go on to head up Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL as well as New South Wales’ Origin side, and the Blues’ City side too.

Towards the back end of his career, he was in charge of Australia’s women’s team – the Jillaroos – and spent 2012 with Newcastle Knights as their High Performance Unit Director of Coaching.

Come the end of that 2012 season, Queensland Cup Wynnum Manly Seagulls appointed him as their new head coach, but Murray stood down from that role due to ill health, and sadly, he passed away in July 2013 aged 58 having suffered a second heart attack in a matter of months.

The London Broncos side from their 1999 Challenge Cup final defeat

Steele Retchless, Robbie Beazley, Matt Salter
From left to right: London Broncos forwards Steele Retchless, Robbie Beazley & Matt Salter pose for a picture ahead of the 1999 Challenge Cup final against Leeds Rhinos

Starting 13: Tulsen Tollett, Rob Smyth, Greg Fleming, John Timu, Martin Offiah, Karle Hammond, Shaun Edwards, Steele Retchless, Robbie Beazley, Matt Salter, Shane Millard, Robbie Simpson, Peter Gill

Interchanges: Mat Toshack, Dean Callaway, Chris Ryan, Glen Air

Head coach: Dan Stains