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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."

Radford still upbeat despite first Hull FC defeat

Hull coach Lee Radford refused to be downbeat despite his side losing 7-6 at home to Warrington.

Lee Radford Credit: Press Association

Written off by many in pre-season, they won 19-0 at Huddersfield last weekend and this performance ranks them as being better than they were given credit for.

Seven points conceded from two games against two of last season's top four represents a significant statement and had they had a little more composure at the death they could have won it themselves.

"I'm encouraged for sure as if you're going to lose, that's how to lose," said Radford, who had to make three enforced changes from the Huddersfield win.

"It's one of the worst build-ups I've had as we've been pulled to pieces with injury and sickness.

"We chased the game, some of the stuff didn't come off but that's the way to do it. I thought all the players were really admirable.

"We were coming off a four-day turnaround. I was really pleased we had some squad players come in and show they can be relied on."

RL Championship coaches welcome new structure

The Rugby League Championship kicks off on Friday when the Dewsbury Rams entertain the Sheffield Eagles.

And this season there's a huge incentive, because promotion to Super League is back on the agenda.

The League's new structure means that at the end of the regular season, the top four in the Championship will get the chance to play off against the bottom four in Super League for the right to play in the top flight next year.

The changes have been welcomed by the coaches of all eight Yorkshire clubs in the division.

West Yorkshire sides set to start Super League

The Super League season is set to kick off this afternoon for our region's teams.

Huddersfield are at home to Hull FC, with Leeds travelling to Hull KR.

Meanwhile Castleford start their season with a clash against their fierce local rivals Wakefield.

Both Tigers boss Daryl Powell and Wildcats Head Coach are looking forward to starting the campaign with a derby.


York City Knights chairman willing to step aside

York City Knights chairman John Guildford says he is willing to step down and hand over control of the League One club in order to secure its future.

The City of York Council announced a week ago that they would not resume talks with the club over plans for a new stadium because of a row with Guildford.

The Knights left their home at Huntington Stadium at the end of the 2014 season and were due to share Bootham Crescent with the city's football team until the new stadium, being built by the council to house both professional clubs, is completed in two years' time, but talks about a short-term lease broke down before Christmas.

Now Guildford, the club's majority shareholder, says he is prepared to break the impasse by appointing a new chairman.

A club statement said: "Mr Guildford will be meeting shareholders to agree a new way forward for the club and has said that, in light of the Council and Football Club stating that a deal will only be put forward again if he stands down, he has been left with no choice but to look for a new chair that can help secure a future for the Knights.

"Mr Guildford would like to assure fans that he will only leave the club in the safest hands and has nothing but the good intentions of the club at heart with such actions."

The long-running dispute left the Knights homeless and they were forced to switch last Sunday's friendly against Hull from Bootham Crescent to Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium.

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