LEEDS RHINOS have had a miserable start to 2019, but light is beginning to appear through the gloom.
Leeds’ 78-6 thrashing of Workington Town in the Challenge Cup was only their third win this season and was achieved with a team including four teenagers, three of them making their debut.
Nobody at Headingley is getting too excited after a 13-try romp against semi-professional opposition from League One, but one of their 19 years olds in particular is beginning to make waves.
Harry Newman, the first player born this century to appear in Super League when he made his Leeds debut two years ago, has scored 21 tries in 17 games on dual-registration with Featherstone Rovers and added four to that tally against Workington.
The presence of Kallum Watkins and Konrad Hurrell in Leeds’ squad has limited his opportunities, but on that sort of form he is making a strong case for more regular Super League appearances, having played twice in the competition this year.
“I knew I had to perform,” said Newman of his Cup chance. “I am constantly trying to push myself to get into that starting team in every Super League game. I thought I had a good performance and hopefully, with the busy Easter period coming up, I’ll have chance to do it again.”
He added: “Obviously I have got Kallum and Konny in front of me and I am learning a lot from them.
“They are both world class centres, both different centres, but I can learn a lot from each one of them and take that into my game.”
The four teenagers who played against Town are all England internationals and Newman feels Leeds’ long-term future is bright.
“We have got a lot of good youngsters coming through and it showed they can be put in at first team level and really perform,” said Newman.
“Just keep training hard together and we’ll get the chance.”