Yesterday, Leeds revealed that Kruise Leeming would be their new captain going into the 2022 campaign after an outstanding season last year.
Leeds’ only representative in the Super League Dream Team last term made his England debut against France in 2021 and was directly involved in over 20 four-pointers in form of tries and assists.
On the back of that, Leeming has been awarded with the captaincy becoming Leeds’ seventh skipper in the seven seasons since Kevin Sinfield’s retirement who had been the club captain for 13 years.
He takes over from former State of Origin star Matt Prior who stepped up last season when Luke Gale was relieved of his duties as skipper after a falling out with Richard Agar.
Leeming will hope to last longer than Leeds’ last six skippers who have on average only lasted a season each with Trent Merrin and Matt Prior both lasting just half a campaign whilst Stevie Ward only captained the Rhinos for one game in which he suffered a career ending concussion.
Speaking on the Rhinos’ official YouTube channel, Leeming spoke about how much of an honour it was to be named captain of one of Britain’s most prestigious clubs.
“It’s unbelievable,” Leeming said, “It took me by surprise to be honest. I’m really proud and I think I’m ready.
“I’ve got so much passion for the club and for for the supporters. It’s something I’m really honoured doing, I could’ve thought of three or four other people who could do this so that’s what makes this special.
“I’m really looking forward to doing something special with this group we’ve got.”
He also noted how special it was to be voted skipper by his peers, but emphasised the need for a collective effort if Leeds want to achieve in 2022 and beyond: “In professional sport that’s probably the biggest accolade you can get, your peers thinking you’re fit to do the job.
“There’ll be a senior leadership group, but it’s about everyone mucking in. Obviously I’ll have the C next to my name but Gary [Hetherington], Rich [Agar], Longy [Sean Long] Zane [Tetevano] and Matt Prior who went before me are all big leaders and are all a massive part of this club and the history we’re trying to create.
“I think we’ve got the team to do it. We’re young, we’re hungry. If we train really hard and put a lot of emphasis on our standards we will manage to do something really special.
“It’s a massive collective group and we’re looking forward to the season coming up.”