Minns relishing Rhinos return

  • Last Updated: March 20 2014, 15:23 GMT

Leeds fan Thomas Minns admits it will feel "weird" lining up against his home-town club when he returns to Headingley on Friday night.

Thomas Minns in action for Leeds last season
Thomas Minns in action for Leeds last season

The teenage threequarter is one of three Rhinos' youngsters spending the season on loan at London Broncos and he will be aiming to help cause a major Super League upset when he runs out against Brian McDermott's unbeaten team.

"I can't wait for it," said Minns, who has supported Leeds since he was 12 and achieved his ambition of making his debut for them in 2013.

"It will be weird going back to my home ground but exciting at the same time."

The 19-year-old Minns made three senior appearances for the Rhinos last season but was expecting to spend most of this year in the academy and so jumped at the chance to gain regular Super League football.

He has played in all five of the Broncos' matches so far and is still looking for a first win but says he has no regrets over the move to the capital.

"It was a difficult decision but I needed to do this to benefit me for the future," Minns said. "It was either playing for the academy or coming down on loan here so it was a no-brainer.

"If I'm playing first-team rugby week in, week out, by the end of this year, hopefully I should have 25 Super League games under my belt and it will be good to go back to Leeds with that confidence, knowing I can play Super League.

"It might make Mac think if he has an injury that I'm ready for it now.

"I was lucky to make three appearances in 2013 but I didn't think I went that well."

Minns is doing it tough with the Londoners, who are still finding their feet after coach Tony Rea was forced to virtually re-build his team following the club's near-death experience in the close season.

They are currently spared bottom spot due to Bradford's points deduction and controversial former Leeds and Great Britain captain Gary Schofield has tipped them to concede a century of points against the Rhinos.

"It will be a very big test," Minns said. "Leeds are in form and they put up a good score against Widnes last week.

"All we can do is go there and try our best and you never know what can happen. Quite a few upsets happen in rugby.

"I am just trying to do my best for London to try and hopefully help keep them up in the Super League, which a lot of people have doubted.

"I am enjoying it. It's quite hard sometimes, getting some heavy defeats and some decisions not going our way which could have changed the games.

"It's quite weird going from winning a lot with the academy to coming down here and not winning as much. But at the end of the day it's first-team experience for me which will benefit me in the long run."

Minns will be joined in the Broncos team by his Leeds team-mate Alex Foster, who made eight consecutive Super League appearances for the Rhinos last year, but centre James Duckworth is denied a chance to face his parent club because of a hamstring injury.

McDermott, a former London coach, is set to give a debut to another of the club's promising youngsters, 19-year-old prop Rob Mulhern, who is rewarded for a string of impressive under-19 appearances with a place in the 19-man squad.

There is also a recall for England winger Ryan Hall, who was rested for last week's game against the Vikings and is relieved to quickly get his place back.

"It was very unfamiliar," said Hall, who this week signed a new five-year contract. "I didn't know where to put myself. I felt very uncomfortable.

"I didn't enjoy it and hopefully it won't happen too many times."

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