Leeds Rhinos: I will fight for a start - Burgess EXCLUSIVE

Luke Burgess.
Luke Burgess.
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GRAND Final winner Luke Burgess says he does not want to end his Leeds Rhinos career on loan at another club.

Burgess confirmed he has asked Rhinos for a release from the remaining few months of his contract, to seek a club in Australia.

But he said if Leeds won’t tear up his current deal, he will stay and fight for a first team place for the rest of this season.

Rhinos announced on Thursday they were making Burgess available for loan, after he lost his place in the team.

Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are both keen to sign the prop on a short-term deal, but he insisted if Leeds won’t release him, he will stay at the club and battle for a first team recall.

The 24-year-old – a member of Leeds’ 2009 Super League-winning side – said the offer of a new contract had been made and then withdrawn by the club.

“This year I was happy to stay at Leeds and I was really enjoying myself here,” he said.

“We opened contract negotiations with the club and Gary (chief executive Gary Hetherington) put a three-year deal in front of me.

“He told me he wanted a decision in three days, but I didn’t think three days was enough time and I was unable to make a decision.

“I asked Gary for a bit more time, but then the contract was off the table. Since then, I have not played.”

Burgess said he then asked Hetherington for permission to leave the club. He added: “I told Gary I wanted a release so I could go to Australia, because I am not playing.

“I made it quite clear I don’t want to go out on loan. If they are not prepared to release me, I will stay at Leeds for the rest of the year.

“Ideally I’d be granted a release so I can leave. If I am not granted a release I am willing to stay at Leeds and fight for my place.

“I am disappointed in the whole thing.”

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