Leeds Rhinos’ Bodene Thompson keen for return to back-row

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Bodene Thompson was brought to Leeds in 2020 as the Rhinos struggled with injuries in the backrow straight after lockdown.

He immediately settled into the backrow to solve this issue but as Alex Mellor returned from injury and Leeds had to juggle two games a week as they made progress in the Challenge Cup, it was Thompson’s job to lead the way when it came to the so called ‘Baby Rhinos’ who were playing midweek Super League fixtures and this saw him have to play a variety of positions.

As the season drew to a close, he was then called upon to settle as a loose-forward a trend that continued throughout 2021 and 2022 with him even playing at prop at times this year.

However, he revealed on Leeds Rhinos’ YouTube that his preferred position is still second-row and why he hasn’t played it at Leeds since 2020: “I’ve played second-row my whole life. I just got moved to the middle when I came here. Backrow is my preferred position. I was overweight last year but backrow is just where I feel more comfortable.”

He also revealed that he’s been training in the role since Rohan Smith arrived, a decision which paid off as he played there against Warrington on Friday with Leeds notching an impressive 40-4 win with Thompson even getting over for a try: “I’ve been training there for the last few weeks and getting used to being back on the edge.”

Overall, Thompson felt it was a good team performance as their attack finally clicked: “It was a good team performance especially keeping them to just one score. Our attack has taken some time to click a bit, we had a couple of weeks to get things right and it came together nicely.”

To top it off, he also explained the thought process behind his try: “I just thought the short side was open on the last play and probably not a bad place to finish if I get tackled so I thought ‘why not have a crack.’”

It’ll be interesting to see if Thompson remains in the backrow against Huddersfield especially with talk suggesting he’ll be leaving the club at the end of the year.

You can watch the whole interview here:

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