McDermott hails Sutcliffe's leadership qualities
Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott has hinted Liam Sutcliffe could take on the captain's role after he committed himself to the club.
Sutcliffe has signed a new four-year deal with the Rhinos and is now under contract until 2021.
The 22-year-old has already made over 100 appearances for Leeds since making his debut in 2013, and McDermott has praised the utility back's leadership qualities.
The Rhinos are in a transitional period as veteran pair Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow will leave at the end of the season, although the latter will remain at the club in a non-playing role in the Rhinos’ youth development programme.
McDermott is delighted Sutcliffe has agreed fresh terms and hinted he is a contender for the captaincy in the near future.
"The significance of Liam signing for us is big," McDermott said. "We know all our young, quality players have a number of options to go elsewhere and the fact he has decided to stay with us is testimony to the environment that has been created at our club.
"We are excited to be working with Liam for the next four years at least and he is excited about being here.
"He has played a number of positions and offers quality at full-back, centre and stand-off and can also play in the back row. Whilst he wants to nail down a position for himself, the fact he can fulfil a number of roles for us makes him an invaluable member of the squad who will always be in the 17.
"We are currently in a transitional period and we are in a very good position within that process. We are coaching and mentoring our young people through so, by the time they need to take on the leadership of our club, they have been through a whole range of experiences with us but that only comes if you commit for a long period with us."
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.