Leeds Rhinos have moved to reassure their fans over hooker James Segeyaro’s commitment to the club after confirming he was the subject of renewed interest from the NRL.
The 26-year-old former Papua New Guinea international made a big impact at the Rhinos after joining them, initially on loan, from Penrith in July, helping them win their last 10 matches of the season to comfortably retain their place in Super League.
Segeyaro officially took up a two-year contract in September, removing a get-out clause at the same time, but has continued to be linked with a return to Australia.
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington, who is in Australia to finalise plans for Leeds’ officials tours to the 2017 World Cup, says he met up with the player in Sydney, where he issued a hands-off notice to NRL clubs.
“There has been interest from NRL clubs in James and one club in particular, but I have explained to them that Leeds Rhinos are not prepared to consider a release or transfer so that is the end of the matter,” Hetherington said.
“I met up with James here in Sydney and he is in good condition and due back with us on January 3.”
Segeyaro is on extended leave but has been given a training programme by the Rhinos’ head of athletic performance Jason Davidson that mirrors the work of his team-mates in pre-season.
Davidson, who is in weekly contact with Segeyaro, said: “James has the same programme as the current squad. This is something we have done for a number of years when our overseas players are allowed extra time back home during the off-season.”