Cuthbertson optimistic for season ahead

ADAM CUTHBERTSON believes Leeds Rhinos are in for a fine campaign if their first pre-season performance is anything to go by.

Leeds Rhinos' new arrival Adam Cuthbertson. Picture: Steve Riding.

The Australian prop, who has joined from National RL club Newcastle Knights, made his debut in the 50-28 Tetley’s Festive Challenge win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Boxing Day.

Leeds’ Super League season does not start until February 8 at Hull KR but Cuthbertson said: “I was surprised how much great rugby there was played in that match.

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“You see it day-in and day-out at training, but it’s good the first time you see it all come together on the pitch.

“Some of the young kids are really exciting and it was great to see the ball go through hands as much as it did.

“The team on Boxing Day was a fair mix; we only had a few older players out there and the rest were young boys.

“It was good to get a hit-out for the squad and some experience for the young boys and we can definitely build on it, that’s for sure.”

Players return to training next week after a Christmas break before flying to Florida for their pre-season camp.

Injury victims Joel Moon, Rob Burrow, Kevin Sinfield, Carl Ablett and Brett Delaney are all expected to feature in Jamie Peacock’s testimonial game against Bradford Bulls on January 25, along with England trio Zak Hardaker, Kallum Watkins and Ryan Hall.

Cuthbertson, 29,is looking forward to getting his next run as he prepares to make an impact in Super League.

“I felt a bit unprepared going into the (Trinity) game,” he said.

“Maybe it was nerves or just remembering my game-day routine got the better of me and it was a bit confusing out there at stages. But once we got 10 or so minutes in and the game started to free up a bit, it was fun and I was happy for a first hit-out.”