Departing JJB confident next generation of Rhinos will shine

Leeds Rhinos veteran Jamie Jones-Buchanan is certain that the young stars that have broken through in a tough 2019 will lead the club to more success in the near future.

Leeds have endured a tough season, with the club only securing their Super League safety last week, and the 38 year old has struggling more than most this term with injury, but thinks the struggles have been countered by a number of young talents being unearthed at Headingley.

After making his long awaited return from injury in the Rhinos 20-12 loss to Salford on Friday, Jones-Buchanan praised for the current crop of talent.

“It was bitter sweet for me, I’m disappointed that we lost, we defended our line really really well and showed some great strength and character but we just weren’t quite good enough but going into next season this team will be very very good,” he said.

“I’m looking around the changing rooms at players like Ash Handley, Jack Walker and Harry Newman, who reminds me of Ryan Hall in his first couple of season here, and by year three and four he was scoring tries in the biggest games and I think he’ll get there for sure.”

The 400 Super League gamer admitted to being nervous before his try scoring return from a back problem that has limited him to just a handful of games this year, but had nothing but fond reflections on his career and paid tribute to the loyal supports of Leeds.

“Some players get to finish off with Grand Final wins but I get to fizzle out like a Catherine wheel from Asda,” he joked.

“But I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve learnt so much about success and legacy and whatever role I have next at this club I’ll have that experience and the reason I was so excited (to score) was so I could thank the fans, they have supported me throughout my career and I can’t thank them enough.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to play for Leeds, the novelty has never worn off, I was probably as nervous today as I was for game one and I was really happy to get through the game today and a quick mention to Stevie Ward as well, he was world class,” he added.