Leeds Rhinos 2018 Preview

The Rhinos certainly took 2017 and made it their own, at the start of the season it didn't look like they would eventually end up  finishing Super League champions, but that's the unpredictability of the game.

An opening day defeat to St Helens would set the Rhinos off on the wrong foot, however they would recover to win 3 of their first 5 games in 2017, setting the expectations of the Rhinos fans looking towards 4th, 5th and 6th as their final standing.

New Boys: Brad Dwyer, Richie Myler and Nathaniel Peteru.

Losses: Danny Mcguire, Rob Burrow, Jordan Baldwinson and Cory Aston.

The last time Leeds lost 2 or more stalwarts from the Golden era they endured one of their, if not, worst seasons in recent history. It's going to be a very steep learning curve, Leeds have a very unfamiliar spine coming into 2018. Walker is still very young, Moon was a centre until late last year, Myler is new and Dwyer will likely be interchange hooker, but still this will impact the squad.

An ageing Leeds pack is a big worry, Jamie Jones-Buchanon is likely in his last season, Keith Galloway is coming back from a second season ending injury, Adam Cuthbertson is starting to slow down, with this being said, I'd have liked to see the Rhinos look at bringing in a little more cover in the forwards.

There is no denying the talent that this squad holds, Hall, Watkins, Parcell, the list goes on and on, the depth in the backs is fantastic, Golding and Walker locked in a healthy rivalry for the 1 jersey, Handley covering the wings and Keinhorst able to cover the centre or even second row when required.

As things stand, the Rhinos have a more than competent squad to challenge for silverware, but a major part of that will be how the new players integrate and gel. If all goes to plan, the Rhinos can and will challenge, finishing no lower than third, however the more daunting prospect comes into play, that the new spine doesn't function well, if that is the case, I see the Rhinos finishing 5th to 8th.



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