Leeds Rhinos: German ace Keinhorst vows to kick-start his Leeds career

Jimmy Keinhorst
Jimmy Keinhorst
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LEEDS RHINOS centre Jimmy Keinhorst has vowed to kick-start his career after it was confirmed he will be at Headingley in 2015.

The 24-year-old spent most of this campaign on loan with Super League rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

However, he endured an injury-ravaged time and featured in just eight games with their West Yorkshire neighbours.

Competition at Leeds, of course, is fierce with England’s Kallum Watkins and Exiles star Joel Moon first-choice centres.

But Keinhorst is relishing the chance to return to training with Rhinos in a fortnight’s time and start proving his worth once more.

“It is nice to be back at the club I belong to and I am looking forward to pre-season,” said the player, who had also previously been on dual-registration with Hunslet Hawks.

“For the first time I am going into it injury-free and hopefully that means I can hit the ground running and get some good training in.

“The Rhinos is a great club to be at as player; we are well looked after and everyone is on the same level and supporting each other. I’m looking forward to working with the Rhinos lads again.”

Keinhorst, who has scored six tries in 16 games for Leeds since debuting in 2012, added: “My game time at Wakefield was unfortunately quite limited.

“I didn’t get as much out of it as I had planned. It was frustrating but I am really thankful to Wakefield for giving me the opportunity. The few games I did get, I thought I went fairly well but I just couldn’t get the game time that I wanted due to an injury early in the season.”

The Leeds-born centre, who memorably played in the 2012 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley in only his sixth first-team appearance, admits he has been disheartened at times about the way his fledgling career has stalled.

“Injuries have been frustrating and I want a run of games without copping a few injuries now at the start of 2015,” said the German international, whose sole game with Leeds this season was the final fixture of the regular campaign at Wigan.

“Some injuries are harder than others but you have to just get on with it and try and improve yourself.

“It has been a massive hurdle when they come around but hopefully I can get a consistent run going now. The last two seasons I have gone into pre-season after a knee and shoulder operation but I am good to go now. I can hit the ground running when we go back in and make the full use of the period to prepare myself for the next season.”

Meanwhile, Keinhorst has recently returned to his studies as he begins a part-time Masters degree at Leeds Beckett University, following in the footsteps of team-mates Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield. Having gained a degree at the same university before going full-time with the Rhinos, he is also hoping he can emulate a former class-mate, ex-Batley Bulldogs prop Alex Walmsley, who won the Grand Final with St Helens earlier this month.

“I started a few weeks ago on a part-time basis at Leeds Beckett but it is quite full on,” he explained. I am looking forward to building on my education again.

“A rugby career is not a long time and it is good to look at a different focus.”

Keinhorst added: “I was really chuffed for Alex; he’s a great lad and it was really good to see him get there. He has had a great season and to come up with the win in the end is great and deserves that after a great year.”

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