Experienced Brett Ferres senses plenty of potential at Leeds Rhinos

AT the age of 34 and with more than 300 career games under his belt, Leeds Rhinos’ Brett Ferres has experienced most things on a rugby league pitch.

Brett Ferres watches on as Leeds Rhinos' Sam Walters breaks through in a clash with Featherstone Rovers. earlier this year. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

However, he never tires of seeing fresh talent emerge and that is why the veteran back-row is looking forward to tomorrow’s game with Catalans Dragons with such relish.

With one eye on Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Wigan Warriors, Leeds head coach Richard Agar has made 15 changes to his squad for the Super League game at Headingley.

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As many as eight players could make their Rhinos debut, including a raft of the club’s most promising youngsters.

Former England international Ferres, who made a surprise loan switch back to Leeds from Championship club Featherstone Rovers last month, is one of the few experienced players selected.

But he told The Yorkshire Post: “I spoke to them after our training session on Sunday and – with me being an older head now – I said how this is a really exciting group and I’m really looking forward to playing with them.

“It’s obviously a very different system to what I’ve been in with before but, as exciting players go and future potential stars, there’s loads in there. I’m really excited by young Sam Walters and Jarrod O’Connor. They’ve been named a couple of times this season without playing yet but they’re two lads who came from Widnes Vikings last year when I was still there.

“It’s good to see how they’ve matured, grown as players and developed their skillset and are really now pushing on the door.

Brett Ferres back in training with Leeds Rhinos earlier this summer. Picture: Leeds Rhinos/SWpix.com

“Sam’s a big boy in the back-row who’s certainly causing teams trouble and Jarrod in the middle is a tough little player who gets stuck in and does all the little efforts that nobody picks out.”

Academy graduate Jack Broadbent could also debut, while teenagers Corey Hall, Levi Edwards and Liam Tindall plus reserve players Harvey Whiteley and Loui McConnell are all also pushing for a spot in the 17.

Salford Red Devils – who face Warrington Wolves today in Super League before meeting again in Saturday’s Cup semi – will appeal Dan Sarginson’s two-match ban for a high tackle on Hull FC’s Jamie Shaul and Luke Yates’s one-match penalty notice for dangerous contact on Danny Houghton.

Catalans’s Joel Tomkins was cautioned by the match review panel for pulling Warrington player Jake Mamo’s hair.

BRIGHT FUTURE: Leeds Rhinos' Jarrod O'Connor in training. Picture: Leeds Rhinos/SWpix.com

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Thank you, James Mitchinson. Editor.