SUPER LEAGUE leaders Leeds Rhinos today confirmed the signing of Newcastle Knights prop-forward Adam Cuthbertson on a four-year contract beginning next season.
The Aussie, whose family is from Warrington, played for Manly against Rhinos in the 2009 World Club Challenge at Elland Road and has also spent time at Cronulla and St George.
Cuthbertson – who has made 127 appearances in Australia’s elite NRL competition and averages 30.6 tackles and 126.3 metres per game this season – said: “I am really pleased to be joining the Rhinos and excited about the challenge of joining a new competition in Super League.
“Leeds have been a top club for the last decade and I know I am joining a very competitive squad who have a great work ethic. That is evident from the success they have had.
“I have been to Leeds in the past and really enjoyed the city. My dad is from England so my family are also excited about me coming over.”
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington declared himself “delighted” with the signing and added: “He is a player we tried to sign three years ago when he was leaving St George, but he opted to go with (coach) Wayne Bennett to Newcastle. This is a major coup for the Rhinos and Super League as a competition and reverses the trend in recent years.
“At 29 Adam is at the peak of his powers as a prop and has agreed a long-term contract with us, showing his commitment to coming to Leeds and our competition.
“Adam will effectively replace Ben Jones-Bishop in our senior 25-man squad, which means all our players are now contracted for next season.”
Rhinos coach Brian McDermott said: “Having spoken with Adam, I was impressed by how much he is looking forward to the challenge of joining the Rhinos next season. As an experienced NRL professional not only will he add quality to our group, but he will also help our younger players develop and realise their full potential with his knowledge from the NRL.
“Given the state of the game in Australia and in particular the demand for front-rowers over there, this is a massive boost for the Rhinos and big decision for Adam. However, he has a passion to play in our competition and for Leeds. The club spoke to Danny Buderus about him also and he had nothing but good to say about him both as a player and an individual which is especially important to us.”