McDermott wants trophy back
Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott says his side are determined to win back the Super League trophy this season.
The Rhinos were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by eventual champions Wigan last year, bringing to an end their two-year ownership of the trophy.
Leeds have won the Grand Final in five of the last seven years and McDermott says his side are keen to make it six from eight this campaign, which they start with an away trip to Hull KR on Sunday.
"We want to win the thing back," McDermott told Sky Sports. "We want to get to the Challenge Cup final and do the best we can do.
"It is going to be tough because we are up against some very tough teams. Some have recruited very, very well. The Super League, as a competition, gets stronger and stronger every year.
"There is a real buzz about Super League at the moment and that will have a knock-on effect to teams and attendances. I can envisage it being a really competitive year.
"For us to achieve anything this year we are going to have to be very, very good but we know that and that is how we would rather it be."
The Rhinos travelled to Portugal this year for a pre-season training camp and whilst McDermott has been encouraged by the way his side have prepared, he is not getting carried away.
"A wise old man once said to me, 'You don't win anything in pre-season, but if you don't do it properly you won't win anything', and that is true," said McDermott.
"We've worked hard and we have done everything that we needed to do but we need to get started and get some momentum going first before we get really excited."
Leeds have added quality to their squad in the off-season, with England winger Tom Briscoe and Papua New Guinea's Paul Aiton joining from Hull and Wakefield respectively.
"I think both the two main recruits we've got will provide a lot for us over the course of the season," added McDermott.
"Paul Aiton coming into the middle provides a lot of cover for us in the halves and in the hooker roles. Tom Briscoe can play anywhere in the outside backs.
"Both are established players and both are internationals so they have the quality. But I think the real benefit to us will be at round 10, round 15, round 20 when we are able to rest and roll the squad around."