Testimonial is worthy reward for loyal Hall

Ryan Hall will celebrate a decade with Leeds Rhinos and Rugby League on Friday night when the Rhinos welcome Hull KR to Headingley Carnegie and it is a night that the free scoring winger thoroughly deserves.

Hall is a one club man having made his debut for the Rhinos back in 2007 and since 2009 he has been a virtual ever present for club and country whenever called upon. For England, Hall has missed just two games through injury since his debut in France in 2009 including warm up games and the short lived clashes with the Exiles. 

A late developer, Hall only signed for Leeds when he was 19 having been spotted playing open age for his local community club at Oulton Raiders. He had intended to go to the University of Leeds to study mathematics but the chance to rack up numbers on the scoreboard turned his head and he has never looked back. 

A look at his stats down the years shows his remarkably consistent form for the Rhinos. In Super League games, according to Opta Stats, he has averaged 119.90 metres per game in 210 Super League appearances from his 3,137 carries. He has made 866 tackles since his debut and on average, missed less than one per game. He is also a tireless worker for his side with 399 dummy half runs, many from near his line as he battles to get his team up field and gain vital yardage.  

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For his country, Hall has always been ready for the call from his Head Coach, playing under Tony Smith, Steve McNamara and Wayne Bennett. He is unique having played against Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, Italy, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji along with the Exiles and the New Zealand Maori. He is England's record try scorer with 31 tries in 31 appearances including five apiece against Australia and New Zealand as well as nine against France. 

Be there this Friday for @Ryan5Hall testimonial clash v @hullkr_online & celebrate an incredible career for Leeds & @England_RL pic.twitter.com/qDVMCBhGmG

— leedsrhinos (@leedsrhinos) January 19, 2017

Hall has always proven to be at his best on the biggest of stages. A try scorer in three Grand Finals in 2008, 2009 and 2011, he also scored crucial tries in 2009 and, of course, in 2015 to secure the League Leaders Shield victories. After the heartbreak of World Club Challenge defeats in 2009 against Manly and Melbourne in 2010, both at Elland Road, Hall finally captured a World title in 2012 with victory over the Sea Eagles; his length of the field score bringing the capacity crowd to their feet. His unforgettable Lance Todd Trophy-winning display against Castleford at Wembley in 2014 was undoubtedly a high point too but he also scored twice in the 2011 loss to Wigan under the arch. His scores against Castleford at Wembley set the golden generation on their way to finally lifting the famous old trophy for the first time in 15 years and completed the Golden Decade. 

Naturally, his displays for club and country has attracted the attention of NRL and Rugby Union clubs alike. Even last summer the Daily Mirror was reporting that Sale Sharks were circling for the Rhinos stalwart. However, Hall has remained loyal to his home club, the Super League competition and Rugby League throughout his career. 

Ryan Hall set to follow Zak Hardaker out of Leeds Rhinos with switch to rugby union's Sale Sharks https://t.co/7zLMw13XYX

— Martin J Kelly JR (@f1qualifying) June 22, 2016

Hall has literally grown up at the Rhinos, now a father of two, he will be doubly proud to lead the team out on Friday night with 4-year-old son Harry alongside him and 1-year-old daughter Violet in his arms. As he told the Hull Daily Mail this week, "When I started playing rugby I never thought I'd take it seriously. I was a bit of a late bloomer still playing for my amateur side and missed the first wave of scouting, and it wasn't until I was 19 that Leeds came in for me.

"It could have been any club but I'm thankful that they did sign me, and they've looked after me ever since. I've signed long-term contracts and had a year or two put on here and there and now we're at ten years!"

Make sure you get along on Friday night to support a Rugby League superstar and give him the testimonial he deserves. Turnstiles will open at 5pm and there will be cash turnstiles around the ground on the night, including for the South Stand. All proceeds from the night go to the Ryan Hall testimonial fund or you can book now at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets