Son of former Rhinos player David Gibbons, second rower Joe Gibbons was one of a number of players picked up from Wetherby Bulldogs by the Rhinos.
In his second season under Mark Butterill in the Under-16s, Gibbons showed his best attributes, scoring four tries across six matches and was one of 13 players that signed academy contracts at the end of 2019. Butterill noted that: “Joe is a wrecking ball of a back rower that hurts people when he carries the ball. He is big and strong with a good pair of hands which means he ticks all the boxes for a modern-day backrower.”
Coming into the Academy, Gibbons continued to show those qualities. In the three games played prior to the Covid shutdown, the forward was selected for all three games by Chev Walker and scored against local rivals Bradford Bulls in a 44-10 victory.