They played for both: St Helens
Briscoe Testimonial. Rhinos v Hull FC. Sun30thJan2022. © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY
Leeds Rhinos travel to Merseyside this Thursday night as Rohan Smith’s side collide with St Helens in round 16 of the Betfred Super League, kick off 8pm.
Ahead of the game, take a look back at four players who have worn both Leeds and St Helens shirts in the Super League era.
Leeds signed Kevin Iro from Manly in 1992 and he made an impact at the club over a four year stint. He made nineteen starts in his first season with Leeds and scored ten tries, notably twice against Barrow in a 54-18 Challenge Cup win.
Iro earned a call up to the New Zealand squad in 1994, thanks to his performances at the Rhinos, plus he helped the club reach its first Challenge Cup final since 1978 in that same season. The centre also finished the season as one of the club’s top try scorers. He was a part of the 1995 Challenge Cup final team as well before Leeds entered the Super League era.
In the inaugural summer season, Iro rounded off his Rhinos career with ten tries in eighteen appearances before he moved back to the southern hemisphere. He returned in 1999, signing for St Helens where he won three domestic trophies. A Grand Final winner in 1999 and 2000, Iro later added a World Club Challenge and Challenge Cup in 2001 before retiring at the end of the season.
Current Rhinos forward James Bentley made his name with St Helens during the 2018-2021 seasons.
The Ireland international began his career at Bradford Bulls in 2016 and played 28 games for the club, in which he won the Championship’s Young Player of the Year, before he joined St Helens. Debuting at home to Hull FC when Saints lifted the League Leaders’ Shield in 2018, a year later Bentley played a combined 17 games at hooker, back row and centre. He quickly became a fan favourite and went from strength to strength in 2020, nailing down a starting berth in the back row and went on to lift the Grand Final trophy at the end of the season. In his final season at the club, an injury stricken season saw the back rower play nine games and score two tries.
Signing for the Rhinos for the 2022 season, Bentley has made seven appearances so far and scored two tries against Wakefield Trinity at Headingley Stadium.
Signed from local side Shaw Cross in 1993, Nick Fozzard made most of his early appearances for Leeds off the bench. He finally broke into the team in 1995, scoring against St Helens and Oldham and making 18 appearances. He replicated that record in 1996, the inaugural Super League season, where he scored three tries in 18 games.
Following spells at Huddersfield and Warrington, Fozzard settled at St Helens in 2004. Over five seasons, which also saw him go to Hull KR for the 2009 season, the prop played 125 times, scoring seven tries. He won the 2007 World Club Challenge, starting against Brisbane, and two Challenge Cups (2004 and 2007) in his time at Knowsley Road.
Full back and centre Gary Connolly started his Rugby League career with his hometown club St Helens in the 1988-89 season. He made 13 appearances in his debut season, scoring once in a 58-12 home win over Oldham, before his break out season came at the start of the 1990s. In the 1991-92 season, he appeared 34 times and ran in 22 tries, two of which came in the Play Off win over Halifax in a great solo season. A year later, he was a try scorer in the Premiership Final when Saints beat Wigan.
After a short spell at Canterbury in the NRL and ten years at Wigan Warriors, where he won eight honours (four Challenge Cups and four Championship titles) and picked up caps for both Great Britain and England, he was released to join the Rhinos in 2002. Under Daryl Powell, Connolly scored on his debut against Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup and went on to play 33 times, scoring seven tries. He was in another Challenge Cup final, scoring in the 22-20 loss to Bradford at Cardiff. Despite starting the 2004 season as a Leeds player, a lack of game time under Tony Smith prompted the centre to return to Wigan, where he played until the end of the season before signing for Widnes.
Tickets and travel for Leeds Rhinos away game at St Helens on Thursday 23rd June at the Totally Wicked Stadium are available to purchase now, online at tickets.therhinos.co.uk and over the phone on 0371 423 1315.
The game is also live on Sky Sports, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Leeds and Talksport 2.
(Standing behind posts)
(Unreserved seating alongside)
|Senior Citizens (65+)||£16||£19|
|Young Adult (19-21)||£16||£19|
|Junior Season Members||£5||£7.50|
For more information, CLICK HERE.