Leeds tempt Eastmond back to league

Leeds tempt Eastmond back to league

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Leeds Rhinos have secured dual-code international Kyle Eastmond, 31, on a two-year contract as he returns to Rugby League having played Rugby Union since 2011. 

Born in Oldham, Eastmond made his debut for St Helens in 2007 having joined the club from Oldham St Annes. He became a regular in the side in 2008 often playing alongside current Leeds Rhinos Assistant Coach Sean Long.

He had a breakthrough season with St Helens in 2008 and scored all of his team’s points in the 2009 Super League Grand Final defeat by Leeds as well as gaining England selection for the Four Nations, gaining four caps in total.

He scored 15 tries in 19 games in the 2010 Super League season as scrum-half with Saints as well as kicking 63 goals and two drop goals before switching codes to join Bath.

In total, he made 74 appearances for Saints, including 52 in the starting line up, scoring 39 tries, 137 goals and three drop goals for a total of 433 points. 

Eastmond will wear the squad number 33 at the Rhinos. 

Commenting on joining the Rhinos, Eastmond said, “I am excited to be coming back to Rugby League. Just like the timing was right for me when I went to Rugby Union, I think the time is right for me to come back to League now.

“I was coached by Richard Agar when I was younger and obviously played alongside Sean Long at Saints. This move is about me playing my very best rugby and I think this environment and this group of staff and players, gives me confidence that I can do that.

“If I’m happy and in the right environment then that means I can  play at my best and I think that is what is going to happen.”

Head Coach Richard Agar added: “I first worked with Kyle in the England Academy in 2006 and he has always been a naturally gifted half back.

“He is an explosive runner and was part of a very successful St Helens squad. I know he will work well within our group and with our coaching team, especially Sean Long who he knows well from his days at Knowsley Road.

“Inevitably, there will be a period of time whilst he reacquaints himself with Rugby League after a decade in Union but I am excited to see how he develops in the coming weeks and months.”

About Post Author

Steven Hughes

I am a freelance journalist based in Liverpool, specialising in football, darts and rugby league
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