Leeds Rhinos have confirmed that England international Kruise Leeming has been named as the club’s new captain ahead of the 2022 Betfred Super League season.
Leeming joined Leeds from Huddersfield Giants in 2020 and has already racked up 40 appearances for the club, being named in the Betfred Super League Dream Team last season.
The hooker made his England debut in the post-season Test Match 10-30 victory over France in Perpignan.
On his appointment, Leeming commented: “I am really proud, I have so much passion for the club and our supporters and I am honoured to get the captaincy.
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“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 C next to my name, it is a collective effort.
“I am going to keep being me; train really heard 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.”
Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Richard Agar said: “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.”
The Rhinos also confirmed that fellow England international Ash Handley will be vice-captain for the 2022 season.
Agar added: “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.”