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Former Rhinos captain Mick Clark dies aged 78

Leeds Rhinos have announced the death of their former captain and Great Britain forward Mick Clark, who lost his battle with Parkinson's Disease on Friday at the age of 78.

Leeds captain Mick Clark is chaired by his teammates as his holds aloft the Challenge Cup in 1968. Credit: Press Association

Clark made just over 200 appearances for Leeds from 1963 to 1969 and was a member of their Challenge Cup-winning team in the famous "Watersplash" final at Wembley in 1968.

He also played for Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Salford and ended his career with a spell as player-coach at Keighley.

A Leeds spokesman said: "On behalf of everyone connected with the club we would like to send our deepest sympathies to his son and two daughters and his grandchildren at this sad time."

Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood said: "It is with sadness that we have heard of Mick Clark's passing and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

"Few players get the opportunity to represent their country, fewer still to play for the national team in a World Cup but Mick Clark did that in 1968, which says much about the prodigious talent he was."

The Rhinos team will wear black armbands for their next match against Warrington next Friday.

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Mulhern secures final spot in Rhinos' Super League squad

Leeds have given 20-year-old prop Rob Mulhern the final spot in their Super League squad for 2015, along with a new three-year contract.

Leeds have given 20-year-old prop Rob Mulhern the final spot in their Super League squad for 2015, along with a new three-year contract. Credit: Press Association

The Rhinos kept open the number 25 shirt when they announced their squad late last year but say the former Normanton youngster deserves the promotion after impressing in pre-season.

Mulhern, who made three Super League appearances last season and played for Ireland in the European Championship, is currently playing for Championship neighbours Hunslet on dual registration but is tipped for a bright future by Leeds coach Brian McDermott.

"Rob has impressed everyone at the club with his work rate and attitude over the last few years," McDermott said. "He will really benefit from playing in the Championship with Hunslet at the moment as he has only played for the Under-19s up until this point.<

"He is aware that he still has a lot of work to do but he has earned this recognition and I am looking forward to working with him for the next three years and hopefully beyond."

Mulhern, whose younger brother Frank plays for Leeds United, said: "Being awarded the 25 shirt for the squad numbers is the icing on the cake.

"There has obviously been a lot of chat about who would get it but I think it is great that the Rhinos reward their young players and give them a shot to prove themselves in Super League.

"I think that sends out a great message to all the young lads at the club and it has definitely given me plenty of confidence going forward to back myself."

Birth of rugby in Leeds to be marked

A service to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of rugby in Leeds, will be held today at Leeds Minster.

Both Leeds' main rugby teams play at Headingley Stadium Credit: Press Association

Expected to be among the congregation is the Leeds Rhinos first team squad , including new Aussie signing Adam Cuthbertson, who only arrived in the UK on Thursday evening.

Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott and England forward Jamie Jones Buchanan will speak at the service. The event will also remember the city's players who lost their lives in the First World War.

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Kevin Sinfield honoured at Buckingham Palace

Kevin Sinfield is the most successful captain in Leeds Rhinos' history Credit: PA

Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield has dedicated his MBE honour to his club following an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The sportsman is the most successful captain in Leeds Rhinos' history, leading them to six Grand Final victories in the last decade, three World Club Challenge triumphs and victory in the Challenge Cup this summer after six final defeats since 2000.

I would like to accept it on behalf of the club, really. So many people played a part in the success, over the last 10 years in particular. For me to get recognised is very humbling but like I said, I think it represents the club, all the players, our staff and the fans - it's been a great place to work and play for the last 10 years.

– Kevin Sinfield

West Yorkshire derby for Peacock testimonial

Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls are to play each other in the New Year to honour Jamie Peacock, who played for both the West Yorkshire clubs.

West Yorkshire derby for Peacock testimonial Credit: Press Association

The game will be on 25 January at Headingley stadium and could be the only time the clubs meet this season following the Bulls' relegation to the Championship.

Peacock won three Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups and two world club titles between 1999 and 2005 with Bradford before moving to his home town club in 2006. At the Rhinos he has continued his incredible run of success with five more Grand Final wins, two World titles and last year's Challenge Cup Final win.

As the last pre-season game before the Rhinos begin their Super League campaign, Head Coach Brian McDermott is expected to name a strong side.

Sutcliffe signs 3-year deal with Rhinos

Emerging half-back Liam Sutcliffe has signed a new three-year deal with Leeds.

Emerging half-back Liam Sutcliffe has signed a new three-year deal with Leeds. Credit: Press Association

The 19-year-old made his first-team breakthrough in the just-ended season, making 26 appearances and winning the Challenge Cup along the way.

The former Hunslet amateur is seen as one of the long-term successors to the current creative trio of Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield, who have formed the backbone of Leeds' era of success.

All have been mainstays over six title wins but - at 32, 31 and 34, respectively - will not be around for another decade and chief executive Gary Hetherington has spoken of a need for some continuity beyond the club's older heads.

As soon as Gary said the club would like to offer me a longer deal, I was more than happy to sign.

I grew up dreaming of playing for the Rhinos and there is no other club I want to play for. I liked the comments Gary made about building a squad for the future around our young players and that does give us a boost.

The squad will have a period of transition over the next few years and for all the squad to know the vision for us as a group is both reassuring and acts as motivation for us to carry on the great traditions of success over the last decade.

– Liam Sutcliffe

Liam has already shown he has all the qualities needed to succeed at the Super League level. He is still developing his natural game, but we saw last year that the foundations are definitely there.

– Brian McDermott, Leeds Rhinos coach
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