Rhinos promote rising star Simpson to first team squad

Leeds Rhinos have promoted young centre Max Simpson, 17, from the Academy squad into Richard Agar’s first team squad after the former Kippax junior agreed a new four year full time contract with the club. 

Simpson has been awarded the vacant 28 squad numbers after Corey Hall left the club this weekend to join Wakefield Trinity. Simpson is joined in the first team squad by fellow 2021 Academy graduates Jack Sinfield and Oli Field. 

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Richard Agar commented, “Max is another product of our pathways system. He’s an extremely dedicated young man, with some real natural centres skills about him. His performances through scholarship and academy have been strong. His development through our system has been rapid and we expect he will thrive in a full time environment.” 

Simpson only recently signed his first professional contract but has now been upgraded to the first team squad. He commented, “I have been striving for this for a number years since I joined the scholarship and it is amazing to be joining the first team squad. My goal has always been to get into the first team squad and it is fantastic to get this opportunity.

“I have been a Rhinos fans since I was a child and watched the golden generation of players in so many Finals, hopefully I can play may part in more success in the future for the club. I would like to thank my academy coaches Chev Walker and Mark Butterill who have given me so much support and advice to get to this stage and I can’t wait to get started,” added Simpson. 

Simpson was part of a five-man cohort that joined Leeds Scholarship in 2019 from Kippax, where he won the Leeds Cup in 2015 and Castleford Cup in 2017, 2018, 2019. In his first year, Simpson made four appearances, three of which came at the end of the season. His best game was against City of Hull, where he crossed for a hat trick in a 50-6 win. He was on the scoresheet again in the post season against NSW Country Rugby League at Headingley; an occasion he regards to be his most memorable rugby moment.

After only a year in the Under-16s, Simpson made the step up to the Academy in 2021 and debuted against Castleford, where he was one of Leeds’ top performers. He also earned a place in the Yorkshire Origin squad after playing only two Under-19s games. This seaso he scored six tries in seven appearances.