Leeds Rhinos hooker Brad Dwyer relishing challenge ahead

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BRAD Dwyer has welcomed the addition of fellow hooker Kruise Leeming to Leeds Rhinos and says that – plus the arrival of England scrum-half Luke Gale – should enhance his own game in 2020.

England Knights star Leeming joined from Huddersfield Giants in a deal announced on Wednesday, bringing a stellar extra dummy-half option to Richard Agar’s side ahead of the new season.

Leeds Rhinos hooker, Brad Dwyer. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia

Leeds Rhinos hooker, Brad Dwyer. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia

Ex-Warrington Wolves rake Dwyer made the No9 role his own last term, forcing his way ahead of Australian Matt Parcell – who was eventually released to Hull KR – and proving one of the club’s few success stories in a largely disappointing 2019.

But Leeming, a livewire 24-year-old, will certainly offer him a new challenge at Emerald Headingley. Dwyer said: “I went on loan to Huddersfield when I was about 20 and he was just coming through then. But there was really big things hoped for him.

“He has kicked on and the experience he’s had in the game and built up at Huddersfield has been really good for him.

“It is competition in my position but it’s good for the group; everyone needs to be on the ball.

Kruise Leeming in action for Huddersfield against Salford. PIC: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia

Kruise Leeming in action for Huddersfield against Salford. PIC: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia

“I think he’ll be really good for us. We’re pretty similar in running games. What Rich (Agar) has asked of me personally is to be a bit more composed.

“That’s what I’m working on but I’m sure we can develop a good partnership between us.”

Dwyer is a regular attacking threat for Leeds with his pace and sniping runs out of dummy half.

However, the 26-year-old accepts there are still improvements required in his game.

Brad Dwyer celebrates a try aganist Huddersfield. PIC: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia

Brad Dwyer celebrates a try aganist Huddersfield. PIC: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia

“It was a really good year for me,” he said, the most famous moment being that stunning Golden Point drop-goal to beat Castleford Tigers.

“I was probably an impact player before that and I pushed on to start. But it highlighted quite a few things I need to work on to progress to that next level.

“I’m excited by that. It’s just being more composed and taking some errors out of my game; I was doing one or two good things and three bad things so I want to just taper that back.

“Obviously we’re a bit more settled as a squad this year so hopefully that will take some pressure off me trying to create some stuff.

Leeds Rhinos' off-season signing, Luke Gale. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia

Leeds Rhinos' off-season signing, Luke Gale. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia

“It’s a case of just letting Galey lead us around and then when the real good opportunities come, just pick my moments really.”

Rhinos bought experienced scrum-half Gale from Castleford in readiness for 2020 and he is seen as the man who will, in particular, bring a much-needed kicking game.

Dwyer is relishing working with the high-profile capture in training and says the 31-year-old is already making his presence felt. He said: “It’s just his character and the way he goes about stuff. I think he wants to take control. That’s great really.

“It just takes some pressure off everyone else and it will open up the running game for Rob (Lui), Wacka (Jack Walker) and the same with me really.

“I’ll just give him the ball when he wants it and if there’s any quick rucks just simplify things really instead of trying to create stuff individually. We’re probably better as a team with Galey being in and around.”

Dwyer joined from Warrington at the end of 2017 when Leeds were reigning champions but has been embroiled in a relegation fight in both seasons since. He is confident that will not be the case for a third successive year and argues the revival has already started under Agar, who replaced Dave Furner as coach following the Australian’s surprise sacking in May.

Dwyer said: “The turnaround between the first half of last season and the back end showed.

“We’d gone from knocking around at the bottom of the league in O (offence) and D (defence) to being in the top three in all stats at the end of the year.

“That’s a positive sign but last season’s gone now. We’re just aiming at 2020 and we’re confident. There’s loads of energy and enthusiasm here.”