Merrin set to captain Rhinos as Watkins heads Down Under

Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar has confirmed that Australian international Trent Merrin will captain the side this Sunday for the Rhinos crucial Betfred Super League clash with Catalans Dragons at Emerald Headingley, kick off 3pm.

Merrin will take over the captain’s armband from Kallum Watkins who has moved to NRL side Gold Coast Titans. The Rhinos had hoped that they could give their former skipper a fitting send off at Sunday’s game against the Dragons however that has been prevented by the NRL.

Initially the club had been informed that Watkins needed to be registered as a Gold Coast Titans player by midnight on 30th June. However, with the Rhinos kicking off at 3pm on Sunday, which is midnight in Sydney, the NRL have refused dispensation to allow Watkins to play his final game for the club he has given over a decade of service to.

The England international has now travelled to Australia to join up with his family.

Coach Richard Agar commented, “Trent was a natural choice as captain. He has had a big influence on our squad in my time as coach and sets high standards for himself. In recent weeks, as we have looked to rebuild our game, he has been a key part of that. Games against Catalans are always tough, especially in the position we find ourselves in, however Trent is one of those guys you would want beside you in the trenches and I know he will lead by example.

“It is disappointing for Kallum that he does not get to say goodbye at Emerald Headingley after his outstanding service for the club. The circumstances are beyond our control unfortunately. He has said his goodbyes to the players and coaches and leaves with our very best wishes,” added Agar.

Book your tickets now for this Sunday’s massive Betfred Super League clash with Catalans Dragons at Emerald Headingley, kick off 3pm. If you book before midnight on Saturday you can save on your matchday admission price. Seating and standing tickets are still available – book now at tickets.therhinos.co.uk or call 03714231315.