Rhinos secure young stars

Leeds Rhinos have signed up young hookers Paul McShane, 21, and Liam Hood, 19, on long term contracts to the club after the pair agreed new four year deals.

Commenting on his new deal, former Stanningley junior Hood said, “I am really pleased to be able to stay here for at least the next four years. I love being here and never wanted to join anyone else and hopefully I can get a shot at the first team next season. I really enjoy playing and training with Paul, we have struck up a good partnership in the Under 20s and our styles compliment each other. He has been starting the game, burning them up so when I come on I can open them up.

“It has been great this year working with Jimmy Lowes and Danny Buderus. Both of them have very different styles but they are legends in my position so spending time with them every day can only make me a better play. Jimmy watches all my games in the Under 20s and is always tipping me up about things I need to improve on, like my defence, and I can see that I am improving all the time,” added Hood.

McShane spent time on loan at Hull FC last season and admitted twelve months ago that he thought he may have to spend more time away from Headingley Carnegie. He commented, “This time last year I thought I would have to go out on loan to get game time with Matt Diskin and Danny Buderus at the club. But when Matt moved on to Bradford, that gave me an opportunity and I am really pleased to have got 18 games under my belt so far this season. I am learning off two of the best hookers of all time in Jimmy Lowes and Danny Buderus and I am confident in my own ability.

“I was a little shocked when the club offered me a new four year deal as I had a year to go but the faith they have shown in me has given me a big boost. I think there is an evolution of the squad happening at present and we have a good mix of young and experienced players. Guys like Chris Clarkson, Kallum Watkins and Ben Jones-Bishop are becoming regulars in the side alongside people like Danny McGuire, Ryan Bailey, Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield which bodes well for the club going forward.”

Leeds Rhinos Assistant Coach Jimmy Lowes, who played for Leeds, Bradford and Great Britain at hooker, says that both players have the potential to succeed at the highest level. He commented, “Both of these players are good lads and have the potential to be top players. Liam Hood has fantastic potential whilst Paul McShane has already shown at first team level that he is a very skilful player. Both work extremely well with Danny Buderus and both will be pushing hard for a first team place next season. I think the competition between them is a good thing and it will only improve. They both know that they need to be at their best or the other will get the chance and that will bring out the best in them.”