Jones-Bishop in Leeds plans

  • Last Updated: May 4 2014, 11:49 BST

Leeds coach Brian McDermott insists forgotten man Ben Jones-Bishop remains firmly in his plans and has rejected a host of requests to take him on loan.

Ben Jones-Bishop: Still has a part to play at Leeds
Ben Jones-Bishop: Still has a part to play at Leeds

The 25-year-old England Knights winger or full-back has played in just four of the Rhinos' opening 11 Super League matches after losing his place at the start of the season to new signing Tom Briscoe.

With two other full England internationals, Ryan Hall and Zak Hardaker holding the league leaders' other two outside backs spots, Jones-Bishop is firmly on the fringes, although he is set to play in Thursday's derby at Castleford as McDermott tries to keep him fresh.

"It's not as easy one," McDermott said. "Credit to Bish, he himself is managing this.The reality is I've got three very good starting wingers and I'm making a decision most weeks to play Hally and Tom Briscoe.

"Bish is aware of this and he was aware of this at the start of the year. Other than injury and a complete lack of form, Bish will find it hard to get in but I am keen on giving Bish game time.

"I am keen on rotating the wingers around which is never a popular thing to do with the players, especially wingers who just want to keep rolling week in week out.

"I want Bish to play and I need him to play because we're not guaranteed Hally or Tom Briscoe going through the season without injury. You don't want to be putting Bish in with having 10 weeks off.

"So we're managing the physical side of things but on the mental side of things for Bish, he's in a tough place. But he's a pro."

Leeds allowed stand-off Liam Sutcliffe to join Bradford on loan earlier this year after he was unable to force his way into the Rhinos team and McDermott says there has been lots of interest in Jones-Bishop.

"We've had four or five Super League clubs on (the phone) and a good few Championship clubs as well," McDermott said. "He's a fantastic player.

"If I had not planned on playing him for a five or six-week block, then a loan deal would be viable but he won't go too many games without playing."

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