Ones to Watch: Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 14/05/2021 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity - Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England - Wakefield's Mason Lino.

The Wetherby Whaler Festive Challenge is only three days away and following Monday’s squad announcements fans can look forward to seeing new signings, experienced players and young talent in the final game of the year.

For fans coming to the game on Boxing Day or watching the live stream here are five players that you need to be watching out for in Richard Agar and Willie Poching’s squads.

Tickets for Sunday’s game are still available to buy here. Don’t forget that tickets must be booked in advance, there will be no tickets available to buy on gameday.

*All stats are provided by OPTA


5. Tom Lineham

The ‘flying pig’ is back in Yorkshire! After six seasons at Warrington Wolves, winger Tom Lineham secured a move to Wakefield Trinity during the off season and will be a big figure in Willie Poching’s squad.

Lineham is one of eight new recruits at the Mobile Rocket Stadium and brings experience to a back line that already includes Reece Lyne, Tom Johnstone, Bill Tupou and more. The England Knights international will aim to bring plenty of tries to Poching’s team too, after Trinity finished as the fourth lowest scoring team in 2021, plus keeping him fit will be vital if Wakefield fans want to see him and Johnstone at their best. There is Liam Kay, Corey Hall, Jack Croft and Lee Kershaw in the wings waiting though.


4. Kruise Leeming

Hooker Kruise Leeming was one of the Rhinos’ top performers last season and was named in the Super League Dream Team.

The hooker ended the season with 10 tries, which was the joint most by a Rhinos player in the league last season with fellow hooker Brad Dwyer, and also produced one of the stand out moments of the season with his drop goal at the Dacia Magic Weekend. With injuries to Rob Lui, Luke Gale and Liam Sutcliffe putting Leeds’ regular half backs out of action too, it was Leeming who stepped up and made the half back role his own on more than one occasion.

His efforts throughout the campaign earned Leeming a place in the Combined Nations All Star squad, which defeated England in June, plus he made his England debut along with Mikolaj Oledzki against France in the post season. On Sunday, Rhinos fans will get to a first chance to see how he plays with new signings Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer in a new look spine for 2022.


3. Blake Austin

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 23/11/2021 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Leeds Rhinos Training – Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds, England – Blake Austin & Jack Walker.

Rhinos fans will get to see the club’s new half back pairing for the first time on Sunday morning, one of which is former Canberra and Warrington star Blake Austin

Austin (pictured left) moved from Warrington to join the Rhinos for 2022 and brings a host of NRL and Super League experience. The half back played NRL matches for Penrith Panthers, Wests Tigers and notably the Raiders. His capture by Warrington in 2019 was a high profile move and the half back proved electric in his debut season, scoring 18 tries and was tipped heavily for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award. Towards the end of his time at the club though, following the signing of George Williams, the Great Britain and Portugal international found himself coming from the bench or playing at loose forward and as his contract expired, he announced his move to Leeds.


2. Mason Lino

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 16/06/2021 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Round 10 – Wakefield Trinity v Castleford Tigers – The Mobile Rocket Stadium, Wakefield, England – Wakefield’s Mason Lino..

A live wire towards the end of 2021, half back Mason Lino can be expected to be shouting and marshalling his team mates around the field in Sunday’s game.

The former New Zealand Warrior and Newcastle Knight only missed one game for Wakefield last season, and recorded five tries and 75 goals. Towards the end of the season, when Willie Poching took the reigns, Lino was Wakefield’s most dangerous player as he assisted six tries, averaged seven carries a game and also made a total of 23 attacking kicks. Over the course of the season, his kicking game proved effective as he made the fourth most kicks in the league, the third most kick metres in the league and was also in the top ten players for kick try assists.

For the year ahead, it is likely he will partner up with Jacob Miller but the signing of Lee Gaskell from neighbours Huddersfield Giants gives Poching options for his spine. Lino though should be mainstay for Trinity.


1. Aidan Sezer

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 23/11/2021 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Leeds Rhinos Training – Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds, England – Aidan Sezer.

After Austin’s inclusion earlier in the list, it would be unfair to leave out his half back partner Aidan Sezer. Sezer joins up with Austin for the first time since the duo left Canberra and Sunday will be an opportunity to see them both in action.

Sezer joined Canberra in 2016 after joining the club from Gold Coast Titans. Over four years at the club, he made 82 appearances and scored 107 points, plus he was notably part of the club’s 2019 squad Grand Final squad that lost out to Sydney Roosters. Like Austin, Sezer’s move to Super League in 2020 was a major coup as he joined Huddersfield Giants and after only one season, he was named captain. Injury hampered his time on the field last season but Rhinos fans can get very excited about seeing the duo run out at Headingley for the first time on Sunday.


More Information

Tickets for this match are available either over the phone on 0371 423 1315 or online at tickets.therhinos.co.uk.

As announced last Friday, the club confirmed that capacity for the game will be voluntarily reduced to 9,999. There will be no option to buy tickets on the gate, all tickets must be purchased in advance. Read more here.

Ticket Prices

Leeds Rhinos Ticket Office at Headingley Stadium is currently not open to the public. If you have any enquiries, then please email [email protected] and one of our Customer Experience Team will be in touch.

Rhinos 2021 and 2022 season members/ Rhinos 2021 and 2022 flexi members /  Rhinos 2021 and 2022 supporter members / (Advance of match day only)AdultConcession (senior over 65 and students, under 21s, disabled – wheelchair and ambulant**)Juniors (16 and under) *
Global East Terrace / South Stand Terrace/ West Terrace£17£12£5
Global East Stand Seats / South Stand Seats / North Stand Seats (seating is reserved)£22£17£10
General Ticket Prices and Match DayAdultConcession (senior over 65 and students, under 21s, disabled – wheelchair and ambulant**)Juniors (16 and under) *
Global East Terrace / South Stand Terrace/ West Terrace£20£15£5
Global East Stand Seats / South Stand Seats / North Stand Seats (seating is reserved)£25£20£10

*Junior discounted prices will be applicable to junior members and junior non-members in advance and on match day.

** Disabled purchasers are entitled to a free companion ticket upon production of companion allowance entitlement letter.

Can’t make it to the game?

Leeds Rhinos have teamed up with Our League to offer Rugby League fans around the world the chance to watch our traditional Boxing Day clash against Wakefield Trinity, live from Headingley.

The game will be available to fans at a cost of £4.95 if booked before midnight on Christmas Day, please be aware the price will rise to £10 on the day of the game, so fans are encouraged to purchase in advance of game day. In order to purchase the game, you need to be logged into your Our League account on the rugby-league.com website. You cannot purchase within the app.

Click here to register for your free account now.