FRENCH FORWARD Kevin Larroyer has admitted he considered hanging up his boots before Castleford Tigers gave him an opportunity to revive his Super League career.
The 27-year-old second-row’s contract at Hull KR, which was due to expire at the end of 2018, became null and void after they were relegated to the Kingstone Press Championship last year.
Despite 14 Test caps and previous experience with Toulouse Olympique and Catalans Dragons, Larroyer, who had played 66 times in Super League, was not offered a revised deal.
He had a spell training with Hull in pre-season, but it was Tigers who stepped in with an offer and he made his debut in Monday’s 38-0 win at Leigh Centurions – having played nine games on loan at Bradford Bulls.
“It had gone through my mind,” he said of retiring from the professional game.
“It has been a tough time these last few months, but now I’m really enjoying it and trying to make the most of it all.
“There’s still a lot to work on, but I’m getting there.
“I’ll take Monday’s game as a reference to compare against, but I would like to play more regularly now.”
With forwards Matt Cook and Adam Milner both facing a lengthy lay-off after being injured at Leigh and Oli Holmes still sidelined following knee surgery Larroyer could make his home debut against St Helens on Sunday.
“When I signed for Cas I’d not really had a pre-season,” he recalled.
“I had a month training at Hull FC, but that was it. The time with Bradford really helped me to go play for Cas.
“I had a few games there, it helped the match fitness and helped me build up confidence to be able to bounce back.
“It has been a long time since I last played Super League, but I got the chance at Leigh and was really happy to come back in a game like that.
“It was a good win.”
Of joining Tigers, who are top of Betfred Super League, Larroyer said: “It’s a team full of talented players.
“You definitely want to be part of this as I think this year something great will happen here.
“With the injured lads, I hope they’re fine, but if not and the coach calls me again, I’ll put my hand up and do the best I can for the team.”