Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington

Rhinos boss blasts rivals

Leeds Rhinos boss Gary Hetherington blasted 6 of his rival Super League chiefs after they thwarted a move to heal the rift in the game.

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Leeds Rhinos captain to miss next two games

Leeds Rhinos and England captain Kevin Sinfield will miss the next two games after being sent off for a headbutt in Thursday's draw with Castleford.

He had been facing a maximum three game ban after being charged with a Grade C offence, but submitted an Early Guilty Plea to the Rugby Football League.

It means although he will miss the games against Salford and Bradford he WILL be available for next month's Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington.

Leeds' Hardaker trains with LGBT team

Leeds Rhinos fullback Zak Hardaker made his comeback last night in a 24-24 thriller with Castleford.

The England international has been out serving a five game ban for shouting homophobic abuse at a referee.

Hardaker has always insisted he is not homophobic, and as Mike Hall reports, he has found support from an unlikely quarter:

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Leeds secure teenager Walters on three-year deal

Leeds have rewarded teenage forward Josh Walters for his impressive start to his Super League career with a new three-year contract.

Josh Walters signs new Rhinos deal
Josh Walters signs new Rhinos deal Credit: Press Association

Walters, 19, who made the switch from rugby union just over a year ago, has scored two tries in his four appearances so far and is set to continue his run against Wakefield on Friday night.

"It is fantastic to have agreed a new long-term contract with the club," Walters said.

"It was always a goal for me when I came over from Leeds Carnegie to earn a full-time contract but I cannot believe how well things have worked out for me."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott said: "Josh has been superb over the last year and thoroughly deserves his new contract.

"I am sure he will continue to develop and this is another great example of how the management of the club are looking to secure the long-term future of our club."

Sinfield to return for Wildcats clash

Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield has been named in the 19 man squad to face Wakefield Wildcats on Friday.

Sinfield to return for Wildcats clash
Sinfield to return for Wildcats clash Credit: Press Association

The 33-year-old missed Sunday's victory over Catalan Dragons.

The Rhinos will be without Carl Ablett (shoulder) and Mitch Achurch (groin) who both picked up injuries in Sunday's dramatic win.

They join Ian Kirke (concussion), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (calf), Chris Clarkson (Achilles), Rob Burrow (collar bone) and Zak Hardaker (suspension) on the sidelines.

Head Coach Brian McDermott has recalled youngsters Robbie Ward and Elliot Minchella to the squad whilst Luke Briscoe could feature against the team he played for on loan at the start of the current season.

Rhinos tie down academy star

Leeds have moved to secure the future of a player they hope will follow in the footsteps of England winger Ryan Hall.

Handley will remain at Headingley for another three years
Handley will remain at Headingley for another three years Credit: Press Association

Threequarter Ash Handley, 18, an England academy international who like Hall comes from Oulton Raiders, has been handed a new three-year contract after scoring 19 tries in 15 appearances for the club's under-19s team this season.

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott said: "We are really pleased to have secured Ash on a long-term contract. He has worked hard this season to improve his game, moving from the wing to centre and that has certainly brought deserved rewards for him. I am sure he will have a bright future at the Rhinos."

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Leeds Rhinos captain gets MBE in Birthday Honours

Leeds Rhinos skipper Kevin Sinfield Credit: PA

Leeds Rhinos captain, Kevin Sinfield has said he is "really proud" after being recognised in the Queen's Brithday Honours. Sinfield, who also captains the England Rugby League side, has been made an MBE. He has led the Rhinos through one of their most successful periods.

He says he found out about the honour a few weeks ago - but was sworn to secrecy.

Read: Queens Birthday Honours List 2014

Hardaker given five match ban for comments

Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker has vowed to mend his reputation for the second time in seven months after being found guilty of homophobically abusing a referee.

Zak Hardaker given five match ban
Zak Hardaker given five match ban

An independent Rugby Football League tribunal imposed a five-match suspension on the 22-year-old England international for making the offensive comments during the Rhinos' 24-6 Super League defeat at Warrington 12 days ago.

Hardaker, who last week issued a public apology, admitted the offence when he appeared in front of the tribunal but claimed his remarks were aimed at Warrington captain Michael Monaghan rather than referee James Child and that he was unaware of their connotations.

The tribunal accepted the player is not homophobic but were satisfied that the remarks were made to the match official.

Hardaker was also fined £300 but the punishment could have been worse. The grade E charge he faced carries a ban of between four and eight matches.

Hardaker hit the headlines last November when he was thrown out of England's World Cup squad for a breach of discipline and was subsequently given a £2,500 fine and a warning by his club.

The player responded with a series of impressive displays that earned him a recall to the England squad, although it is not known whether his suspension will affect his appearance at a mid-season training get-together in Loughborough this weekend.

Hardaker, who will start his suspension when Leeds host Huddersfield in a Super League game at Headingley on Thursday night, has pledged to learn from his latest mistake.

Hardaker charged over homophobic comment

Zak Hardaker
Zak Hardaker Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Leeds Rhinos full-back Zak Hardaker is facing a ban of between four and eight matches after being charged over allegations that he made a homophobic comment during a recent Super League match.

The Rugby Football League launched an investigation into comments the 22-year-old England international made during the Rhinos' 24-6 defeat at Warrington 10 days ago.

Hardaker, who last week issued an apology for his comments, will appear in front of the RFL's disciplinary committee today after its match-review panel ruled there was sufficient evidence to charge him.

The player is facing a grade E offence of "using verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, national or ethnic origin".

In Hardaker's apology, he admitted using inappropriate language and insisted his comments were aimed at Warrington captain Michael Monaghan, rather than referee James Child, which appeared to be the case.

"I have complied fully with the RFL's investigation, never looked to deny what I said and will accept their judgement," Hardaker said in his statement.

Hardaker, who was thrown out of England's World Cup squad after a breach of discipline last November, has missed only one match for his club in the last 14 months but could be in danger of missing a large chunk of the second half of the season.

Quality shines through eventually for Rhinos in Challenge Cup

Leeds Rhinos were held for much of their Challenge Cup game by a strong defensive performance by Leigh Centurions.

The visitors went 12-6 up but Rhinos levelled the scores before halftime.

It stayed 12-12 until the seventy-second minute when Robbie Ward broke through the Centurions' ranks.

Rhinos pushed on and a Kevin Sinfield drop goal as well as a converted Zak Hardaker try finished the Championship leaders off.

The game at Headlingley finished 25-12 sending Leeds Rhinos through to the semi-final of the Challenge Cup.

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