Leeds' Liam Sutcliffe 'has skills to threaten defences'

Maturing Sutcliffe in key Leeds role

Leeds Rhinos playmaker Liam Sutcliffe has the variety in his game to threaten defences, says team-mate and former Great Britain captain Jamie Peacock.

The 20-year-old has become their first-choice stand-off in 2015 despite legend Kevin Sinfield's presence in the squad.

The boyhood Leeds fan has played eight of 11 Super League games in 2015, with three scores and four try assists.

Peacock told BBC Super League Show: "He has the kicking skills but he can stop on a sixpence and accelerate away."

"He's strong. I know as a defender in the middle you worry about halves who can run and can beat you with strength.

"Liam is a great level headed kid."

Sutcliffe (left) with the Leeds cup final squad
Sutcliffe (left) played for Leeds in the 2014 Challenge Cup final victory against Castleford

Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott has been confident enough in Sutcliffe's development to give him big opportunities to impress, such as last season's Challenge Cup final victory against Castleford.

His nerveless approach has drawn comparisons with hero Sinfield, with the pair sharing an eye for goal and focus in pressure situations, and Sutcliffe's importance will only increase next season after the departure of the veteran Sinfield.

"He [Sutcliffe]'s a great player, he is composed, it doesn't look like the occasion gets to him," Castleford full-back Luke Dorn said.

"He's doing a great job in a pivotal position."