Bradford lad Elliot Minchella relishing long-term Leeds Rhinos deal

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: SIGN HERE: Elliot Minchella pens a three-year contract with Leeds Rhinos as boss Brian McDermott looks on SIGN HERE: Elliot Minchella pens a three-year contract with Leeds Rhinos as boss Brian McDermott looks on

Elliot Minchella has spoken of his delight after earning a three-year full-time deal at Leeds Rhinos.

The 17-year-old West Bowling product, who comes from a family of Bulls fans, has enjoyed a dream year after making a try-scoring Super League debut for Leeds in their win at Salford in August.

He also played for England Under-18s against France, was named Leeds’ Academy player of the year and has been selected for England Under-18s for games against France and Australia next year.

The highly-rated loose forward, who will captain Leeds Under-19s in their pre-season trip to France next month, said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“I’ve had a good season, so thankfully Leeds have rewarded me with this three-year deal.

“I was at the Bulls previously and played in their Under-14s side for a year but then left to join Leeds and have been here ever since.

“Rhinos have a proven track record of bringing young lads through and that’s one of the reasons I chose to sign here.

“The highlight of my career so far was definitely my first-team debut because that only happens once and I’ll never forget it.

“Playing Super League is what everyone dreams of doing but winning the player of the year and representing England, and beating France, made it a great year all-round.

“I’ve still got two more years in the Academy playing for the Under-19s and that’s my main focus this season. Anything else is a bonus.”

The former St Bede’s pupil flew the nest from his family home in Clayton Heights earlier this year and now lives in Leeds with team-mates Andy Yates and Robbie Ward.

The teenager, who could play for Leeds against Wakefield in their Boxing Day friendly, added: “I moved out at the start of this year and it has made me grow up. I’m now in the real world and have had to fend for myself, but I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Minchella’s dad Chris, a fanatical Bulls fan, said: “I’m extremely proud of what Elliot has achieved in such a short space of time.”

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