All parties are ‘in it together’ at Leeds Rhinos – Luke Gale

There have been a lot of rumours floating around in rugby league about pay cuts and what might happen when players are due back in training but, at Leeds, our lads are sorted now and there’s no issues.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 6:01 am
Leeds Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

In terms of wage reductions, that has all been dealt with, it’s behind us now and we are just looking forward to starting training on Monday and playing on August 2, which is what the next few weeks will be based on.

It has been an on-going process. As players, we understand it is tough for clubs; they need to make cuts and we have been cut but Gary Hetherington and Kev Sinfield have kept us informed and they’ve been great throughout.

All the boys are onside. We have had a pay cut but we’ve kind of met in the middle. All the players are happy and we are focusing on one thing now, which is beating Huddersfield in the first game back.

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It hasn’t been an easy few weeks and, being honest, there was a bit of unrest, which I think is understandable.

In three weeks’ time we are going to go back on the field and put our bodies on the line; it is going to be a tough, intense time with nearly a full season’s worth of matches to fit into four months.

From what I have heard, some teams aren’t sorted yet, but we are and, at Leeds, everyone is pulling in the same direction.

We are all rugby players, we love what we do and I am glad we are sorted. Nobody wants to go into training or matches with something like a pay dispute hanging over them and I have to tip my hat to the club for the way they have behaved.

Adam Cuthbertson. Picture: Steve Riding.

We all know it’s a really testing time for them, with no money coming in since March and the first few games going to be played behind closed doors, which will mean more costs to pay, but still no income. We all want what’s best for the sport and the club, but we have to look after ourselves and our families as well.

Rhyse Martin, Adam Cuthbertson and I have been meeting with Kev and Gary for a few weeks, to talk things through and try and work together so we could sort everything out regarding pay cuts. Kev is a good bloke and he’s doing a fantastic job as director of rugby.

It’s not an easy role, especially at a huge club like Leeds and in the middle of a pandemic when there’s so much to deal with, but he has been brilliant and Gary has as well.

They have given us a bit back this year, which all the boys are thankful for and, personally, I am pleased we’ve managed to work through things in a friendly fashion without any really serious issues.

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

It is a really good sign for the future that we are all onside as players and we are all pulling in the right direction.

That is important because the last thing you want as a club is a fall-out between players and staff, especially the top management.

At Leeds, everyone gets on and we’re all in it together, as the saying goes.

I think it’s a credit to both sides that we have managed to keep everything amicable and there’s going to be no distractions over the next three weeks and when rugby starts again next month.

That will put us in a good position to start well and have a real crack at achieving something this year.

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