Leeds Rhinos: Owen Trout's aiming for first-team breakthrough

HAVING CONQUERED Australia, teenager Owen Trout is now aiming to make a Betfred Super League breakthrough with Leeds Rhinos.

Owen Trout. PIC: Steve Riding

Trout, 19, played in both Tests for England academy in their 2-0 whitewash of Australian Schoolboys earlier this month.

The second-rower was one of seven Rhinos players in the team which won 18-6 at Emerald Headingley last Friday and five of those have yet to make a first-team appearance.

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Though he has a year left at academy level, Trout is training full-time with Leeds and anxious to show what he can do for club as well as country.

Owen Trout, in action for Leeds Rhinos during last year's festive challenge with Wakefield Trinity. PIC: Steve Riding

“That’s my next target, to make my Super League debut and then hopefully kick on into trying to make regular Super League appearances,” Trout confirmed.

“There’s a few people in front of me, but hopefully Dave [Furner, Rhinos’ coach] will see that I’ve been working hard in training and give me that shot.”

Trout, who was born in Wakefield and played his junior rugby for Stanley Rangers, was handed Rhinos’ number 33 jersey towards the end of last season, but never made the matchday 17.

He recalled: “I was 18th man for a game and I feel like it might have been because the academy were doing so well we needed older-head players in there. Being 18th man gave me the feel of the game so I know what it’s like in the changing rooms and what to expect so it’s not so surreal and I can keep a cool head.”

Leeds Rhinos head coach, Dave Furner. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Furner played in Trout’s position and the youngster hopes some of that stardust will rub off.

“With him being a back-rower, hopefully he can give me his knowledge and I can soak it all up and add that to my game,” he predicted.

The Leeds youngster is also hoping to follow in the footsteps of older brother Kyle Trout, who made 23 Super League appearances for Wakefield Trinity from 2012-15 and is now at Dewsbury Rams.

“He’s encouraged me a lot,” Owen confirmed. “He has been through it all so he knows what it’s like making your debut and trying to break into the squad. He has given me all the advice he can and that’s helped me a lot with my game.”

Owen Trout's older brother, Kyle - a former Wakefield Trinity forward, now with Dewsbury Rams.

Furner was among the crowd at Headingley five days ago and is likely to give several of Leeds’ England players a run in the Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge against Wakefield on Boxing Day. Reflecting on England’s series win, Trout said: “It was an unreal experience.

“We talked a lot about it in the second week of camp, that there were only two teams previously to beat them in the Tests and to whitewash them so to be the third team in history to do it is amazing.”

England dominated both games, winning the opener at Leigh 14-8.

“That gave us a real confidence boot,” Trout added.

“We took that into training and I feel like it showed in [last Friday’s] game as well. It [having seven players in the side] shows the future at Leeds is bright.”