Plume backs Under 19s to build on pre-season work.

Leeds Rhinos Assistant Coach Chris Plume says the Rhinos U19s side have prepared well during the winter and are in a good position to kick off their season this Saturday in Perpignan.

The Under 19s squad will travel with the first team to the South of France this weekend and will feature in a curtain raiser against their opposite numbers from Catalans Dragons pre-match. The two sides met home and away last season in friendly fixtures but for 2016 the Dragons are now part of the Under 19 league structure. 

Looking ahead to the game, Plume said, "I am really looking forward to Saturday's game. Last year's fixture was one of the highlights of our campaign as the young lads overcame all the challenges that travelling to France involves and dug deep to get a late win. It is great for them to spend time around the first team squad but they will be responsible for making sure they are ready to go come kick off and handle the different environment of flying out, staying in a hotel overnight and preparing for a game outside of their comfort zone brings. 

"Since the academy ages merged a couple of years ago, this is probably the best mix we have had to the group in terms of the different age groups. The younger players we have brought into the group this season have really added to the squad and we are looking forward to the start of the season," added Plume.