Leeds Rhinos have announced that they will be returning to Jacksonville in North Florida for their pre-season training camp in 2016 and will once again take on a USA representative side.
The Rhinos will once again be based at the University of North Florida for the week long training camp which will run from 13th January until 20th January and they will play a US representative side on Sunday 17th January.
It will be the fifth time the Rhinos have travelled to Jacksonville for pre-season training dating back to 2001. The trip will have extra significance this time however with Brian McDermott now the Head Coach of the USA national team as well as Leeds and McDermott will be able to make further plans for the Rhinos visit when he joys up with the USA squad at the end of the Super League domestic season.
Commenting on the trip, Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, “We are delighted to confirm our training camp for 2016. We have always received a very warm welcome in Jacksonville and have many friends in the city who we are looking forward to meeting up with again. The University of North Florida is an excellent facility and there will be a familiarity with the campus for our players so we can get maximum benefit from our time away whilst we are there. I know our players were very impressed with the passion and commitment to the sport of Rugby League in Jacksonville and the city has very much become our home away from home,” added Hetherington.
Spinner Howland, who is board member of USARL and founder of the Jacksonville Axemen, has once again worked hard to bring the Rhinos to the city. He commented, “Having Leeds Rhinos return to City of Jacksonville for training camp and a game is very exciting.
“Earlier this year, the Rhinos made a tremendous commitment to the sport of Rugby League in the USA when they invited two players from our USA Pioneers squad to train with them during their camp. Those bonds have been strengthened since with the appointment of Brian McDermott to lead the USA squad and I am sure that 2016 will be the best camp yet as we build on the work that has been done previously,” added Howland.