Leeming named new Leeds Rhinos captain for 2022

Leeds Rhinos hooker Kruise Leeming has been named the club’s new captain for 2022, taking on the captain’s armband for this Sunday’s pre-season clash with Hull FC at Headingley in the testimonial game for Tom Briscoe, kick off 3pm. 

Leeming, 26, joined the Rhinos in 2020 from Huddersfield Giants and has already made 40 appearances for the club. He made his England debut in 2021. He was named in the Super League Dream Team last season.

He succeeds Matt Prior as captain ahead of the new season and is the first hooker to captain the club on a permanent basis in the summer era. 

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Richard Agar commented, “We are blessed as a team with a number of experienced leaders across our squad. Kruise is certainly one of those and I know it means a lot to him to be awarded the captaincy. He is a consummate professional who always looks to get the best out of himself and the team. I know he will do a tremendous job as captain and I look forward to seeing him lead the team out this season.”

Leeming added, “I am really proud, I have so much passion for the club and our supporters 

and I am honoured to get the captaincy. It is a massive team effort and I am looking forward to doing something special with this group of players. In professional sport, one of the biggest accolades is that your peers think you can do the job. We have a great group of leaders and even though I have the C next to my name, it is a collective effort. I am going to keep being me; train really hard and care about the club and my own performance. It won’t alter my game but it has put a massive smile on my face.”

Richard Agar has also confirmed that England winger Ash Handley will be vice captain with Matt Prior continuing to be part of the team’s leadership group. Agar added, “I met with Matt at the end of last season and have continued those conversations. He did an outstanding job for us last season as the figurehead of our team but I know he is keen to lead by example with his efforts on the field and is happy to be part of our leadership group supporting the team in 2022.

“Ash Handley has developed into a key voice in our dressing room and on the field and his partnership as vice captain with Kruise will be a perfect blend between the two. They both epitomise the standards and behaviours we expect from our team. I agree with Kruise’s comments that we have so many leaders in our dressing room and any successful team is defined by the leadership within the group and the culture of the club and we have built a strong foundation on that basis to move forward this season.

Sunday’s Tom Briscoe Testimonial fixture between Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC will be streamed live on Our League at 3pm.

Fans can book the live stream via the Our League app, priced £4.95 (early bird offer; £10 on the day). All proceeds will go to the Tom Briscoe Testimonial Fund. Briscoe, who scored 90 tries in 147 appearances for the Black and Whites between 2008 and 2013, will come up against his former club for the clash at Headingley. The former England international has scored 91 tries in 191 appearances for the Rhinos since his move to Headingley in 2014.

The 31 years old was a try scorer for Leeds in three Challenge Cup finals, including a record breaking five tries in the Rhinos 2015 defeat of Hull KR at Wembley Stadium. He also crossed for two tries in the 2017 Grand Final win over Castleford Tigers to earn a second Super League winner’s medal.

Tickets to see the game live at the Headingley Stadium are available online, priced from just £15 for adults and only £5 for Under 16s. All proceeds from the game will go to the Tom Briscoe testimonial fund.