Leeds Rhinos and English Rugby League have been given a massive boost with the news that winger Ryan Hall has agreed a new five year contract with the club that will keep him at Headingley Carnegie until at least the end of the 2018 First Utility Super League season.
The winger, who has scored 158 tries in 197 appearances for the club, is tenth in the all time list of try scorers in the Super League era. He was a mainstay of the England World Cup squad. The new deal includes the current season and is a major coup for the Rhinos given interest in Hall from Rugby Union and the NRL.
Commenting on the deal, the 26-year-old said, "I am really pleased to get the new deal agreed. I have always signed long term contracts with the club and I never had any intention of going anywhere but it is nice to feel that the club want me. This is a great club, who do things the right way, and I want to be part of helping the club move forward over the next few years. There is a great nucleus of players here who want to stay together and achieve more success for Leeds Rhinos. We are well looked after by the club and, as a group of players, we set high standards for ourselves and that is a great environment for an elite player to be in."
Head Coach Brian McDermott believes the new contract is a major boost, not just for the Rhinos but for the Super League competition as a whole. He commented, "I think everyone who loves Rugby League and loves watching Super League will be pleased by this announcement. We have seen Ryan perform on the highest stage with England against Australia and New Zealand and for the Rhinos in the World Club Challenges and he has consistently proved his quality. To agree a new long term contract with a player like that, which will take him through until he is 30, is testament to the culture at this club and the commitment these players have to one another."
The most exciting era in the history of Rugby League since the sport switched to summer in 1996 will kick off with six fixtures in a new-look First Utility Super League over the weekend of February 5-8 2015.