ENGLAND ACADEMY hero Ashton Golding has agreed a new four-year deal which will keep him at Leeds Rhinos until the end of the 2018 season.
The pacy 18-year-old full-back was named man of the match in Rhinos Under-19’s recent defeat to Australian Schoolboys and in England Academy’s Test win over the same opponents.
Rhinos’ reigning Under-19 player of the year, he made his Super League debut off the bench in Leeds’s defeat at London Broncos last season and is set to start in the Tetley’s Festive Challenge against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Boxing Day.
Golding, who is studying for ‘A’ Levels in PE and Applied Sciences and BTEC Sport at Priesthorpe School in Leeds, said: “It has been an ambition of mine since I was very young to play for the club I love and now I will get the chance to do that.
“It is hard to juggle school and training, but I am managing so far. My confidence has grown a lot this season and I can now try things that previously I would not have done.
“To make my debut last year, the experience I gained from that was invaluable. I then took that knowledge with me into the rest of the season with the under-19s and I think it improved my game.”
Boxing Day will be Golding’s first game since the win over Australia at Leigh – when he was identified by the tourists’ coaching staff as a potential future star.
Golding is behind England squad member Zak Hardaker in the race to be Rhinos’ long-term full-back, but insisted that gives him chance to learn off one of the best.
“Zak has taught me a lot already and there is still so much I can learn off him and I am really looking forward to doing that,” he said.
“I have grown up here and I just want to be part of something special at the Rhinos.”