McDermott delighted to get Garbutt earlier than anticipated

LEEDS RHINOS have strengthened their squad for the Super League run-in with the acquisition of Australian front-row forward Mitch Garbutt.

Leeds Rhinos' head coach Brian McDermott ( Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe).

The 26-year-old former Melbourne Storm player has signed an 18-month contract after being released by Brisbane Broncos.

He is due to arrive in Leeds on Saturday and will be available for the top-of-the-table showdown with visitors St Helens six days later.

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“The Rhinos are such a successful side with a mix of youth and experience and this is a great opportunity to kick on with my own career as part of that group,” Garbutt said. “I have watched the team on television over here and the side are always competitive and, more often than not, come away with the win, which is an exciting thing I want to be part of.”

Leeds coach Brian McDermott said: “Obviously we are losing some size from our pack next season and had hoped to get Mitch in for 2016. However, to be able to bring him in now so he can get settled into life over here in Super League is an added bonus, especially with big games all the way between now and the end of the season.”

Meanwhile. Hull’s goal-kicking scrum-half Marc Sneyd will miss Friday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at home to Leeds after being banned for two games.

Sneyd denied a charge of making grade D dangerous contact with Leeds’s Danny McGuire in last Sunday’s Super League fixture when he appeared before the RFL disciplinary committee yesterday. The panel found him guilty of a reduced grade C charge.

Huddersfield’s England forward Brett Ferres has also been given a two-match ban, following his dismissal for punching during the Giants’ Super League win at Widnes on Sunday. Ferres, sent off after just 11 minutes for striking Widnes full-back Rhys Hanbury, submitted an early-guilty plea to the grade C charge and avoided a disciplinary hearing. The former Bradford, Wakefield and Castleford second-row, who was returning from an injury lay-off, will miss the Giants’ matches against Hull KR and St Helens.

Challenge Cup quarter-finals build-up: Page 23.