Leeds Rhinos

Last updated

Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos.png
Club information
Full nameLeeds Rhinos Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s)The Rhinos
The Loiners
Short nameLeeds Rhinos
Colours Rhinoscolours.svg Blue and Amber
Founded1870;152 years ago (1870)
(as Leeds St John's)
Website Leeds Rhinos
Current details
Chairman Paul Caddick
Gary Hetherington
Coach Flag of Australia (converted).svg Rohan Smith
Captain Flag of Eswatini.svg Kruise Leeming
Competition Super League
2022 season Regular season: 5th
Playoffs: Lost 24-12 to St Helens (Grand Final)
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Kit left arm goldborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body goldblue stripes.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm goldborder.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks bluehorizontal.png
Kit socks long.svg
Home colours
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
Away colours
Championships 11 (1961, 1969, 1972, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017)
Challenge Cups 14 (1910, 1923, 1932, 1936, 1941, 1942, 1957, 1968, 1977, 1978, 1999, 2014, 2015, 2020)
World Club Challenges 3 (2005, 2008, 2012)
Other honours 37
Most capped625 - Flag of England.svg John Holmes
Highest points scorer3,967 - Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield

The Leeds Rhinos are a professional rugby league club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1870 as Leeds St John's and play in the Super League, the top tier of English rugby league. They have played home matches at Headingley Stadium since 1890.


In 1895, Leeds was one of twenty-two rugby clubs that broke away from the Rugby Football Union and formed what was originally the Northern Union, but is now the Rugby Football League. [1] The club was known simply as Leeds until the end of the 1996 season, when they added Rhinos to their name. They are also historically known as the Loiners, referring to the demonym for a native of Leeds.

Leeds have won 11 League Titles, 13 Challenge Cups and three World Club Challenge titles. Leeds play in blue and amber kits at home matches and historically have worn either white or yellow away kits. They share rivalries with St. Helens, Wigan Warriors, Bradford Bulls and Castleford Tigers as well as a local city rivalry with Hunslet.


1870–1895: Foundation and early years

In 1864, H. I. Johnson placed an advert in the Leeds Mercury inviting players to meet up at Woodhouse Moor a few days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. That advert attracted more than 500 members. From this interest several clubs were formed, including Leeds St John's. [2]

Leeds St John's was formed in 1870 and was originally known as the "Old Blue and Ambers". The club played at the Militia Barracks from 1870 to 1888 before moving to Cardigan Fields, near Headingley, Leeds. [3] Membership was originally confined to the church classes but was soon expanded. By 1887 St John's had reached its first cup final, the Yorkshire Cup losing to Wakefield Trinity.

The city of Leeds had an abundance of rugby football clubs and although members of the Yorkshire RFU (which was in turn a constituent body of the RFU), it was decided to form a ‘more local’ association. It was for this reason that the Leeds & District organisation was formalised when a meeting took place at the Green Dragon Hotel, Leeds on 27 September 1888. The foundation clubs were Bramley, Holbeck, Hunslet, Kirkstall, Leeds Parish Church, Leeds St John's and Wortley.

In 1888 the Cardigan Estate was sold at auction and Lot 17a was purchased by a group of Leeds citizens, who intended to form the city's leading sports club. Lot 17a became what is now Headingley Stadium.

Leeds St John's played its final season under that name in 1889–90, before becoming the football section of Leeds Cricket, Football and Athletic Co Ltd the following season. With Headingley still being completed, Leeds' first game was staged at Cardigan Fields, the home side defeating Otley. The first game at Headingley was played on 20 September 1890, when Manningham were beaten by one try and one dropped goal to nil.

After the 1890–91 season, Leeds along with other Yorkshire Senior clubs Batley, Bradford, Brighouse, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull, Hunslet, Leeds, Liversedge, Manningham and Wakefield decided that they wanted their own county league starting in 1891 along the lines of a similar competition that had been played in Lancashire. The clubs wanted full control of the league but the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union would not sanction the competition as it meant giving up control of rugby football to the senior clubs.

In 1892, 27,654 spectators, a then record in British rugby, attended the third round showdown between Leeds and Halifax at Headingley.

1895–1920: Northern Union breakaway

Leeds team of 1899-1900 Leeds rhinos rugby c1900.jpg
Leeds team of 1899–1900

A special general meeting was held in 1895 that voted decisively to support the breakaway Northern Union as a founder member, resulting in two resignations from the club. Leeds' début in the Northern Union was a 6–3 success at Leigh on 7 September 1895, the inaugural day of the new competition. [4]

In 1901, the Leeds Parish Church team disbanded and put all of its players at Leeds' disposal. That same year saw the formation of the Northern Rugby League, with a number of leading clubs leaving the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League and joining the new competition. Leeds was not admitted until the following year when it was placed in the newly formed second division and quickly gained promotion as runners-up to Keighley.

Leeds City FC joined football's Second Division in 1905–06, and finished sixth out of 20 clubs in the club's first season. Rugby's monopoly with the locals seemed to have been broken, with Leeds Rugby League's average gate numbers falling by nearly 50% in that first league season. [5]

In 1910, Leeds came of age with the team finishing in sixth place in the league, but that was just a warm-up for the Challenge Cup campaign. Leeds beat Hull Kingston Rovers, Rochdale Hornets, Keighley and then scraped through 11–10 against Warrington in the semifinal before meeting Hull F.C. in the final. Rain on the morning of the game meant conditions were against flowing rugby. The scores were level at 7–7 with fifteen minutes left. However, neither team could break the deadlock, and the final went to a replay two days later, again at Fartown, Huddersfield. Leeds made no mistake this time and ran out convincing 26–12 winners having led 16–0 at half-time.

The club lost many players to the First World War; of a total of fifty-one players who served in the military, fifteen were killed. The usual league programme was interrupted during 1914–18. During this period, Leeds played a number of "guest players" in the Emergency League competition. The Headingley club reached the Championship final for the first time in 1915, but lost 35–2 to Huddersfield, then a record score. The Emergency League was then suspended. Leeds reverted to rugby union during the First World War to play a one-off challenge game against the Royal Navy Depot from Plymouth in 1917. This was a precursor to the following Christmas when two Challenge games were organised between the two sides but this time with one of each code. The Navy won the union game 9–3 on Christmas Eve but proved equally adept at league recording a 24–3 win on 28 December.

1921–1942: Inter-war period

In 1921, Harold Buck became the game's first £1,000 transfer when he moved from Hunslet to Leeds. [6]

On Saturday 27 October 1934, Leeds and Wakefield Trinity met in the final of the Yorkshire Cup at Crown Flatt, Dewsbury. The match was played in front of a crowd of 22,598 and ended in a 5–5 draw. Four days later the two clubs drew again, with Leeds eventually lifting the trophy after a second replay, the only occasion it took three attempts to settle a Yorkshire Cup Final. A total of 52,402 spectators watched the three games.

Leeds forward Joe Thompson was the top point scorer for both the 1929–30 and 1927–28 seasons.

In 1937, Leeds paid the stand-off Vic Hey a then-record £1,400 signing-on fee to lure him from Australia. Vic was regarded as a major loss to the Australian game and this contributed to the RFL imposing a ban on international transfers, which lasted until 1940.

In 1938, Leeds played Swinton in the Rugby Football League Championship semi-final. Leeds won the match 5 points to 2 to set up a history-making all-Leeds clash with neighbours Hunslet in the final. The match was played at the Elland Road football ground, to accommodate a huge demand from the city's rugby league supporters. Over 54,000 people watched the game, a then record for a match in England. Hunslet triumphed 8–2 to take the title.

Leeds won the Challenge Cup in 1941 and 1942. [7]

1950–1960: Post-war

Following the Second World War, Leeds club struggled to make a serious impact in rugby league despite having a financial advantage over the majority of other teams. Arthur Clues was the first Australian to come and play in Britain after the war and the great Australian second rower was signed by Leeds. His rivalry with the Great Britain and Wales prop Frank Whitcombe, who played for Bradford Northern was legendary. Their confrontations on the field during the Leeds v Bradford Northern local derby games are part of rugby league folklore.

It was not until the late 1950s, when in 1957 the club secured its first post-war Challenge Cup victory, that the young side being built began to show signs of what was to come. Joe Warham came to Leeds as coach in 1958 and a Yorkshire Cup triumph followed, but the side still lacked enough quality to compete at the top of the Lancashire section of the competition in which it was then playing.

However, "the Loiners" (their historical nickname) were to establish themselves as a dominant force by the end of the coming decade. In 1960 Dai Prosser was appointed to assist Joe Warham with the coaching duties and the club signed a new back three of Jack Fairbank, Brian Shaw and Dennis Goodwin to strengthen the forward pack. The recruitment paid off: the club was crowned Champions for the first time in 1961 with Lewis Jones leading them to a 25–10 victory over Warrington in the Championship Final at Odsal Stadium, Bradford. [8]

1960–1980: First Championship titles

In the late 1960s, under the guidance of Roy Francis, Leeds repeatedly finished top of the league. The club contested perhaps the most memorable of all Wembley occasions, the "watersplash final" of 1968, which was played despite a downpour that saturated the pitch. It produced the most dramatic of finishes, when Lance Todd trophy winner Don Fox had the easiest of conversions to win it for Wakefield Trinity, but missed it to leave Leeds 11–10 winners.

Francis then quit the club to take up a coaching position in Australia, and Joe Warham again took charge as coach, on an interim basis, midway through the 1969 campaign. The Championship trophy duly returned to Headingley for the second time after a tough final against Castleford at Odsal Stadium.

In 1970 Leeds returned to the Championship final, and Odsal, but lost to St. Helens despite having taken an early lead. Tables were turned in December when the same teams met in the final of the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy, Leeds emerging victorious this time.

Coached by Derek "Rocky" Turner, Leeds returned to Wembley in 1971 and 1972 but lost out both times – in 1971 losing 24–7 to rank outsiders Leigh and suffering the indignity of captain Syd Hynes being the first man to 'take an early bath' at Wembley. [9] [10] A third championship, in 1972, provided consolation.

Eric Ashton (former Wigan and Great Britain centre) coached Leeds for the 1973–74 season before leaving to coach St. Helens. [11]

Leeds continued to collect silverware: the Regal Trophy in 1973 and the Premiership (the then-current form of the championship playoff) in 1975. The team held the Yorkshire Cup seven times between 1969 and 1980.

1976–77 was a season of mixed emotions. The Salford versus Leeds league match was abandoned after 38 minutes when Chris Sanderson of Leeds suffered a fatal injury. Leeds led 5–2, but the game was declared null and void and not replayed. The club recovered to win the Challenge Cup at the end of the season. This success was repeated in 1978, in a classic final against St Helens at Wembley Stadium with Leeds completing what was then a record comeback, from 10–0 down. Former captain Syd Hynes was coach on both occasions.

This was followed up with another Premiership win, in 1979. [12] However, these victories were the 'last hurrah' of the great 1960s, and 1970s sides and a barren spell followed in the 1980s.

1980–1996: Nearly Men

Leeds' only triumphs were the 1984 John Player Trophy (beating Widnes) under coach Maurice Bamford and the Yorkshire County Cup in 1980 (beating Hull Kingston Rovers) and 1988(beating Castleford). Leeds were beaten finalists in the John Player Trophy four times in the 1980s, and 1990s.

Between December 1986 and April 1988, Maurice Bamford was coach of Leeds.

Leeds eventually returned to Wembley for a Challenge Cup Final appearance in 1994 against Wigan. Leeds returned to Wembley a year later, again to face Wigan again, but were beaten more easily.

1996–2003: Start of the Super League era

In 1996 Gary Hetherington sold his controlling interest in Sheffield Eagles and joined Paul Caddick to take over the ailing Leeds C F & A Co Ltd, owners and operators of Headingley Stadium and Leeds Rugby League Club. 1996 marked the beginning of summer rugby as the first tier of British rugby league clubs played the inaugural Super League season and changed from a winter to a summer season. [13]

In 1997, the club renamed itself Leeds Rhinos. Dean Bell took over as head coach following his retirement as a player at Auckland Warriors. Iestyn Harris joined Leeds that year for a record-breaking £350,000 transfer and was appointed captain in his first full season at the age of only 21. Leeds experienced great financial difficulty and even flirted with relegation as they won only six matches all year and finished third from bottom in Super League, above only Oldham and Paris.

Bell became head of the academy team. In 1998 Graham Murray replaced Bell as joined the Leeds Rhinos as head coach and them team reached the inaugural Grand Final, at Old Trafford, however they were beaten by Wigan. In 1999 Leeds finally landed their first silverware in a decade, and their first Challenge Cup for over 20 years, with a convincing 52–16 win over London at Wembley. [14]

In 2000, Leeds reached the Challenge Cup Final but finished runners up to Yorkshire rivals Bradford at Murrayfield, Edinburgh. [15] Daryl Powell became coach of Leeds after he retired from playing in 2001. [16] In 2003, despite being top of the table at the time, Leeds announced Tony Smith would replace Darryl Powell as head coach for the 2004 season. [17] Leeds returned to the Challenge Cup final in 2003, again to face Bradford, this time at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff where they were beaten 22–20. [18]

2004–2017: Golden Era

Leeds celebrating their 2008 Grand Final victory Rhinos2008.jpg
Leeds celebrating their 2008 Grand Final victory

The Rhinos ended their 32-year wait for a league championship by winning the 2004 Super League Grand Final [19] This marked the start of over a decade of on-field success. [20] As champions of the previous year, Leeds played in the 2005 World Club Challenge beating the 2004 Australian premiers Canterbury Bulldogs. Leeds next trophy was the 2007 Grand Final, which marked the final game as coach of the club for Tony Smith. [21] He was replaced by former New Zealand international team coach Brian McClennan. [22] Further success followed in 2008 when Leeds again beat Australian opposition in the 2008 World Club Challenge, Melbourne Storm the defeated opponents on this occasion. [23] [24] Leeds then retained the Super League championship by winning the Grand final. [25] This marked the first time the club had won consecutive titles. [26] A third consecutive league title followed in 2009, when Leeds won the 2009 Super League Grand Final, and thus became the first club ever to win the trophy three times in a row. [27]

After failing to win a trophy in 2010, Leeds started the 2011 season in mixed form, and by July appeared to be in danger of missing out on the play-offs completely. They ultimately did finish in a play-off spot and went on to win the 2011 Super League Grand Final. [28] They reached the Challenge Cup Final in 2012, as they had the previous year, but again finished runners up. The Rhinos did however, successfully defend their Super League title by winning the 2012 Super League Grand Final. [29] Success in the Grand Final earned them another World Club Challenge match against Melbourne Storm, in which they were defeated. [30] Leeds would ultimately fail to win any silverware in 2013, [31] however they did end their long run without a Challenge Cup final win by beating Castleford Tigers at Wembley in the 2014 final. [32]

In March 2014, it was announced that Leeds would share a partnership with the Atlanta Rhinos, who play in the USA Rugby League. Leeds stated they would help bring a professional approach to the Atlanta club by sharing information and playing talent. [33]

The Treble

Leeds had a highly successful season in 2015, winning the Challenge Cup, League Leaders Shield and the Grand Final, completing the modern day rugby league treble [20] and becoming only the third team in the Super League era to achieve this after Bradford in 2003 and St. Helens in 2006.

Leeds' victory in the 2015 Grand Final was the final competitive game of Rugby League for three long serving players of the game, as Jamie Peacock & Kylie Leuluai retired at the end of the season and Kevin Sinfield joined Leeds' sister club in Rugby Union, Yorkshire Carnegie. [34]

Leeds struggled in the season following their best ever season in 2015. they spent most of the regular season in the bottom two league positions before finding form and just missing out on 8th place to Widnes therefore being confined to fight to keep their Super League status in The Qualifiers for the first time. The club comfortably finished first in the Qualifiers only losing to Huddersfield.

The following season was a return to form, finishing second to Castleford and only a point off of their 2015 treble winning season tally. They went on to play Castleford in the Grand Final winning 24–6, the club's 11th title and 8th of the Super League era.

2018–present: Struggles and rebuild

After the successful 2017 season, the 2016 season was written off as an anomaly, however 2018 was to be another bad year for the club. They finished 9th in the regular season and finished second in the Qualifiers narrowly avoiding the Million Pound Game on points difference. [35]

For the 2019 season the club appointed former player David Furner as head coach to rebuild the team. After an unsuccessful start to the season Furner was sacked and replaced with Richard Agar as caretaker coach. Agars first game in charge was a loss in the Challenge Cup to second division Bradford Bulls. Agar was given the job permanently at the end of the season after keeping the club in Super League.

Leeds made a bright start to the 2020 Super League season although their season was disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the postponed season the club made it to their first Challenge Cup final in five years where they beat Salford Red Devils 17–16. It was their first major trophy after the 'Golden Era'. Leeds reached the first week of the playoffs but were eliminated after losing to Catalans Dragons 26–14. [36]

In the 2021 Super League season, Leeds finished in 5th place on the table and qualified for the playoffs. In the elimination playoff, they defeated Wigan 8–0 at the DW Stadium to book a semi-final match against St Helens. [37]

Colours and badge

Leeds play in traditional Leeds colours blue and amber (home). Their home kits are famously blue with an amber band around the chest and on the arms. Between 2011 and 2013 Leeds wore pink away kits with proceeds of shirt sales going to breast cancer charities.

Between the club's foundation in 1865 and the formation of Super League in 1996 Leeds used the city's crest on their kits as they were just known as Leeds RLFC or Leeds Loiners. In 1996, the formation of Super League saw Leeds change their name to Leeds Rhinos. The new badge is mainly blue and has a rhino with the word rhino above it in a semi circle and Leeds at the top of the badge.


Leeds have played at Headingley since 1890 and the ground is owned by Leeds. The rugby ground is also on the same site as the cricket ground operated by Yorkshire County Cricket Club. The North Stand of the rugby ground backs onto the cricket ground. The Carnegie Stand was built in 2006 to replace the old, uncovered, Eastern Terrace and also expanded the capacity to 21,000, adding extra seating on the top tier and terracing on the bottom.

Between 2017 and 2019 the stadium was extensively redeveloped with both the South and North Stands being demolished and replaced by modern constructions, the latter in co-operation with Yorkshire CCC. Seating was added in the upper level of the new South Stand and a large corporate suite, originally called the Emerald Suite, is located within the North Stand overlooking both cricket and rugby pitches. Any significant redevelopment or expansion of the Western Terrace would require the demolition of housing and rerouting of a public right of way.

Headingley panorama Leeds Rhinos vs. Salford Red Devils, Headingley Stadium (21st April 2014) 012.JPG
Headingley panorama

Kit sponsors and manufacturers

Leeds have had four shirt sponsors since 1981, the current sponsors, Leeds Building Society are currently the longest sponsorship deal the club have had and is the longest in the Super League. Since 2008 the club's kits have been made by Australian company ISC, who took over from Patrick.

YearsKit ManufacturerMain Shirt Sponsor
1968–1981 Umbro none
1981–1990 Younger's
1990–1994 Carling
1994–1995 Ellgren Tetley's
1995–2003 Asics
2004–2006 Patrick
2007 Leeds Building Society
2008–2020 ISC
2021– Oxen


Ronnie the Rhino, the mascot of Leeds Ronnie the rhino.jpg
Ronnie the Rhino, the mascot of Leeds

Ronnie the Rhino is the Leeds mascot. He attempts to get the crowd going pre-match, and at half-time he normally gets children involved by playing some sort of game.

Ronnie the Rhino visits schools as part of the Leeds RLFC Community project, with the intention of promoting sports and healthy living.


During the early part of the Super League era, Leeds' main local rivals were Bradford Bulls, who they played in two Grand Finals and beat in 2004 to win their first Super League title. However the Bulls have since slipped down to the lower leagues and competitive games are rare. Leeds also have a cross-city rivalry with Hunslet, who they play annually in the Harry Jepson OBE Memorial Cup. The two clubs played against each other in the 'all Leeds' 1938 Championship Final at Elland Road, won by Hunslet, which attracted a still-record Rugby League attendance for the city of 54,112. Since the 1970s, however, Hunslet have largely played in lower leagues so competitive fixtures are rare.

Leeds also have West Yorkshire derbies with Castleford Tigers and with Wakefield Trinity, who they play every Boxing Day in the annual Festive Challenge.

Since the formation of Super League there has been a major rivalry with St. Helens, who lost five consecutive Grand Finals between 2007 and 2011, four of which were against Leeds. The two sides have been the most successful during the Super League era. There are also other cross-Pennine rivalries against Wigan Warriors, whom they have played in big games and beat in a final for the first time in 2015, and against Warrington Wolves, who they have played in Challenge Cup and Grand Finals.

2023 squad

Where a player has played internationally for more than one country, the nations are indicated with the most recently represented first. A slash (/) indicates an uncapped player of dual nationality.

First team squadCoaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 20 April 2022
Source(s): 2022 Squad Numbers

2022 transfers


PlayerClubContract lengthDate
Flag of Ireland.svg James Bentley St Helens 2 YearsJune 2021 [38]
Flag of Turkey.svg Aidan Sezer Huddersfield Giants July 2021 [39]
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Blake Austin Warrington Wolves 1 YearAugust 2021 [40]
Flag of Tonga.svg David Fusitu’a New Zealand Warriors 2 YearsOctober 2021 [41]


PlayerClubContract lengthDate
Flag of England.svg Stevie Ward RetiredJanuary 2021 [42]
Flag of England.svg Kyle Eastmond May 2021 [43]
Flag of England.svg Alex Sutcliffe Castleford Tigers 2 YearsSeptember 2021 [44]
Flag of England.svg Callum McLelland October 2021 [45]
Flag of Fiji.svg King Vuniyayawa Salford Red Devils October 2021 [46]
Flag of Tonga.svg Konrad Hurrell St Helens 1 YearOctober 2021 [47]
Flag of England.svg Luke Briscoe Featherstone Rovers October 2021 [48]
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Robert Lui North Queensland Cowboys November 2021 [49]
Flag of England.svg Luke Gale Hull FC November 2021 [50]
Flag of England.svg Corey Hall Wakefield Trinity November 2021
Flag of England.svg Corey Johnson Bradford Bulls 1 Year LoanDecember 2021 [51]
Flag of Nigeria.svg Muizz Mustapha
Flag of England.svg Jarrod O'Connor



Harry Sunderland Trophy winners

The Harry Sunderland Trophy is awarded to the Man-of-the-Match in the Super League Grand Final by the Rugby League Writers' Association.

1968–69 Flag of England.svg Bev Risman
1971–72 Flag of England.svg Terry Clawson
1974–75 Flag of England.svg Mel Mason
1978–79 Flag of England.svg Kevin Dick
2004 Flag of England.svg Matt Diskin
2007 Flag of England.svg Rob Burrow
2008 Flag of England.svg Lee Smith
2009 Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield
2011 Flag of England.svg Rob Burrow
2012 Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield
2015 Flag of England.svg Danny McGuire
2017 Flag of England.svg Danny McGuire

Lance Todd Trophy winners

The Lance Todd Trophy is awarded to the Man-of-the-Match in the Challenge Cup Final. Introduced in 1946, the trophy was named in memory of Lance Todd, the New Zealand-born player and administrator, who was killed in a road accident during the Second World War.

1957 Flag of England.svg Jeff Stevenson Scrum-half
1977 Flag of England.svg Steve Pitchford Prop
1999 Flag of England.svg Leroy Rivett Wing
2003 Flag of England.svg Gary Connolly Fullback
2005 Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield Loose forward
2014 Flag of England.svg Ryan Hall Wing
2015 Flag of England.svg Tom Briscoe Wing
2020 Flag of England.svg Richie Myler Fullback

† = Won Lance Todd Trophy whilst on losing side

Man of Steel winners

The Man of Steel Award (latterly the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award) is an annual honour, awarded by the Super League to the most outstanding player in the British game for that year.

1977 Flag of England.svg David Ward Hooker
1991 Flag of England.svg Garry Schofield Stand-off
1998 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Iestyn Harris Stand-off
2015 Flag of England.svg Zak Hardaker Full-Back

Golden Boot winners

The Golden Boot Award is a rugby league award handed out annually for achievements in rugby league by Rugby League World magazine. The Golden Boot is given, usually in December after the conclusion of all the year's matches, to the player adjudged to be the best in the world, as determined by a ballot of international media representatives. [52]

It was decided by the judges that Garry Schofield should be the winner in 1990, but unfortunately the sponsors of the Golden Boot backed out and the award was shelved. After a nine-year hiatus, League Publications Ltd, having bought Rugby League World, brought back the award in 1999. In 2011 they decided to give Schofield his Golden Boot and he is now included in the roll call of winners of the prestigious award.

The oldest winner of the award is Kevin Sinfield, who won in 2012 at the age of 32.

1990 Flag of England.svg Garry Schofield
2012 Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield


Players with honours


Hall of Fame

The Rhinos instigated a hall of fame in 2017. Up to four players will be inducted each year. The qualifications for inductees are that they have: [53]

2017 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Keith McLellan [53] 1951–1958215695217
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Lewis Jones [53] 1952–196438514412442920
Flag of England.svg John Holmes [53] 1968–19906251535391554
Flag of England.svg David Ward [53] 1971–1986482402143
2018 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Joe Thompson 1923–1933390538621883
Flag of England.svg Bev Risman 1966–1970164611
Flag of England.svg Jeff Stevenson 1952–195922867
Flag of England.svg Garry Schofield 1987–199625114764746
2019 Flag of Ireland.svg Barrie McDermott [54] 1996–2005283400160
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Eric Harris 1930–1939383391161208
Flag of England.svg Syd Hynes 1965–1975366158156850
Flag of England.svg John Atkinson 1966–198251834001020
2020 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Arthur Clues [55] 1947–1954238740222
Flag of England.svg Fred Webster [56] 1902–1920543764236
Flag of England.svg Les Dyl [57] 1970–198543419311604
Flag of England.svg Rob Burrow [58] 2004–20174931981571111
2021 Flag of England.svg Jim Brough [59] 1925–19444423482266
Flag of England.svg Don Robinson [60] 1956-6429663189
Flag of England.svg Alan Smith [61] 1962-1983469283849
Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield [62] 1997-2015521861792 + 39 drop goals3967


First Team coaching staff

Director of Rugby
First Team Coach Flag of Australia (converted).svg Rohan Smith
Assistant Coach Flag of England.svg Jamie Jones-Buchanan [63]
Head of Athletic Performance Flag of England.svg Jason Davidson
Head of Analysis Flag of England.svg James Bletsoe
Head Physio Flag of England.svg Andy Barker
Club Masseur Flag of England.svg Steve Clegg
Kit Man Flag of England.svg Glynn Bell

Club officials

Leeds CF&A Co Ltd Owner Flag of England.svg Paul Caddick
Chairman Flag of England.svg Paul Caddick
Chief Executive Flag of England.svg Gary Hetherington
Commercial Director Flag of England.svg Rob Oates
Finance Director Flag of England.svg Peter Hirst
Legal Director Flag of England.svg Chris Ross
Non-Executive Director Flag of England.svg Jeffery Walton

Club President Andrew Thirkill




Winners (11): 1960–61, 1968–69, 1971–72, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017
Runners up (12): 1914–15, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1937–38, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998, 2005, 2022
Runners up (1): 1902–03
Winners (2): 1974–75, 1978–79
Runners up (1): 1994–95
Winners (15): 1901–02, 1927–28, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1950–51, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1960–61, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70


Winners (14): 1909–10, 1922–23, 1931–32, 1935–36, 1940–41, 1941–42, 1956–57, 1967–68, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1999, 2014, 2015, 2020
Runners up (12): 1942–43, 1946–47, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012
Winners (2): 1972–73, 1983–84
Runners up (3): 1982–83, 1987–88, 1991–92
Winners (1): 1970–71
Winners (17): 1921–22, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1932–33, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1937–38, 1958–59, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1988–89
Runners up (4): 1919–20, 1947–48, 1961–62, 1964–65,


Winners (3): 2005, 2008, 2012
Runners up (5): 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018


Club Records

102-0 v. Coventrycolours.png Coventry (at Headingley, 1913)
71-0 v. Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield (at Headingley, 1945)
40,175 v. Bullscolours.svg Bradford (at Headingley, 21 May 1947)
23,246 v. Castleford colours.svg Castleford (at Elland Road, 23 March 2018)

Player Records

Most appearances

1 John Holmes 1968–1989625
2 Fred Webster 1902–1920543
3 Kevin Sinfield 1997–2015521
4 John Atkinson 1965–1982518
5 Rob Burrow 2001–2017492
6 David Ward 1971–1987482
7 Alan Smith 1962–1983479
8 Danny McGuire 2001–2017468
9 Jim Brough 1925–1944442
10 Ray Batten 1963–1976434

Notable supporters




Other teams

Since 2017, Leeds Rhinos have operated a women's rugby league team and a netball team. Both teams compete in the top teir of their respective competitions, the RFL Women's Super League and the Netball Superleague. Since 2018, they have also operated a Physical Disability Team as well as a Learning Disability Team from 2019.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Castleford Tigers</span> English professional rugby league football club

The Castleford Tigers are a professional rugby league club in Castleford, West Yorkshire, England, that compete in the Super League, the top-level professional rugby league club competition in the Northern Hemisphere. The club have competed in the top division for the majority of their existence, having only been relegated twice in their history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kevin Sinfield</span> Professional RL coach and former GB & England international rugby league footballer

Kevin Sinfield is the defence coach for the Leicester Tigers Rugby Union club. He is a former professional rugby league player, captain and director of rugby for Leeds Rhinos. Sinfield also represented England and Great Britain. His usual position was loose forward, although he played both stand-off and hooker on occasion. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest kickers in rugby league history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Danny McGuire</span> GB & England international rugby league footballer

Daniel Phillip McGuire is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played as a scrum-half or stand-off, and is currently the interim head-coach of Hull Kingston Rovers. He spent the majority of his professional career playing for Leeds Rhinos, winning a total of eight Super League Championships, two Challenge Cups, three World Club Challenge Championships and three League Leaders' Shields. He made over 400 appearances for the club between 2001 and 2017, before spending two seasons at Hull Kingston Rovers at the end of his playing career.

John Atkinson was an English rugby union and World Cup winning professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and coached in the 1980s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Daryl Powell</span> Professional rugby league coach & former player

Daryl A. Powell is an English professional rugby league coach who is the head coach of the Warrington Wolves in the Super League. He is a former professional rugby league footballer who played as a stand-off in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

Leeds has a strong sporting heritage, with the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos playing at Headingley Stadium, Leeds Tykes playing at The Sycamores, Bramhope and Leeds United F.C. playing at Elland Road. The Headquarters of the Rugby Football League is also based in Leeds. Leeds City Council also offer a wide variety of sport, leisure and fitness sessions both in their leisure centres and the community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jamie Peacock</span> Former GB & England international rugby league footballer

James Darryl Peacock MBE, is a motivational speaker, leadership mentor and former English professional rugby league footballer. He played for Leeds Rhinos and the Bradford Bulls in the Super League, and captained both Great Britain and England at international level. After retiring at the end of the 2015 season he became director of rugby at the Hull Kingston Rovers, but resumed his playing career towards the end of the 2016 season. His position of choice was prop, although he played much of his early career as a second-row. He is the most successful player in Super League history, having won a total of 9 Super League championships, 4 Challenge Cup winners medals, 4 World Club Challenge winners medals, twice named the Best Forward in the World, named in the Super League Dream Team on 11 occasions, won the Man of Steel award in 2003 and in 2021 awarded the MBE.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brian McDermott (rugby league)</span> English rugby league footballer, and singer

Brian G. McDermott is an English professional rugby league coach who was the head coach of Featherstone Rovers in the RFL Championship, resigning on 26 Sep 2022, after the loss to Batley Bulldogs. He is a former professional rugby league player.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Briscoe</span> England international rugby league footballer

Tom Briscoe is an English professional rugby league footballer who plays as a winger and has played for England at international level.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul McShane (rugby league)</span> English professional rugby league footballer

Paul McShane is an English professional rugby league footballer who plays as a hooker or scrum-half for the Castleford Tigers in the Super League and England at international level. He is the captain of Castleford.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Challenge Cup</span> Rugby league knockout cup competition organised by the Rugby Football League

The Challenge Cup is a knockout rugby league cup competition organised by the Rugby Football League, held annually since 1896, with the exception of 1915–1919 and 1939–1940, due to World War I and World War II respectively. It involves amateur, semi-professional and professional clubs.

William Newman Ramsey was an English professional rugby league footballer who played as a prop, second-row or loose forward in the 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, Yorkshire, and Commonwealth XIII, and at club level for Hunslet, Leeds, Bradford Northern, Hull FC and Widnes during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Hunslet. During his Leeds career Ramsey appeared in 17 major Finals, including five at Wembley Stadium, London, scored a rare drop goal in the 1969 Championship Final, toured twice in 1966 and 1974, and won seven winners medals with Leeds.

Dennis Hartley was an English professional rugby league footballer who played as a prop in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

John D. Joyner, also known by the nickname of "JJ", is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1990s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Castleford, as a centre, stand-off, or loose forward, i.e. number 3 or 4, 6, or 13, and coached at club level for Castleford.

Sydney "Syd" Hynes is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s and 1970s, and coached rugby league in the 1970s and 1980s. He played club level rugby union (RU) for the sports club of the Leeds branch of National and Local Government Officers' Association (NALGO), and representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain and England, and at club level for Leeds (captain), as a centre, i.e. number 3 or 4, and coached at club level for Leeds.

Paul Harkin is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1990s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, and at club level for Bradford Northern, Featherstone Rovers, Hull Kingston Rovers, Leeds, Halifax, and Hunslet, as a scrum-half, i.e. number 7, and coached at club level for Wakefield Trinity, Town Leagues Club, and Crigglestone All Blacks ARLFC.

David Apatu Plange is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s, and coached in the 1990s and 2000s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, and at club level for Doncaster, Castleford, Sheffield Eagles, Hull Kingston Rovers and Hunslet Hawks as a wing, i.e. number 2 or 5, and coached at club level for Hunslet Hawks, Leeds Rhinos, and Warrington Wolves.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stevie Ward</span> English RL administrator and former professional rugby league footballer

Stevie Ray Ward is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played as a second-row or loose forward for the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League.

Whilst the sport of rugby league is played across Great Britain, it is most popular in its heartlands, the traditional counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire with the majority of professional and semi-professional clubs coming from this area of the country. Many fixtures are considered to be local derbies, where both teams come from the same town or city, or two that are very close to each other.

Lois Forsell is a retired English international rugby league footballer who played as a hooker for Leeds Rhinos Women in the Women's Super League. Forsell has also played for Bradford Bulls Women and Hunslet at club level, and has also represented Yorkshire.


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