'Good to be back': Hull KR's Jimmy Keinhorst reveals epic dash to answer Leeds Rhinos SOS

Former Super League champion Jimmy Keinhorst has revealed how he dashed from Italy - arriving in England at 3am on the day of the match - to answer an SOS from Leeds Rhinos.
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Now of Hull KR, Keinhorst began his top-flight career with Rhinos and played in the 2015 Grand Final win over Wigan.

He was drafted in as a guest player to face New Zealand in Saturday’s International Challenge and insisted it was worth all the hassle, despite a record 74-0 defeat.

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“I was away in Italy at [Hull KR’s ex-Leeds hooker] Matt Parcell’s wedding and I got a text from Jonesy [Rhinos assistant-coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan] on Thursday, just seeing if I wanted to have a run,” he said.

Rhinos guest player Jimmy Keinhorst can't prevent New Zealand's Jeremy Marshall-King scoring. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Rhinos guest player Jimmy Keinhorst can't prevent New Zealand's Jeremy Marshall-King scoring. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Rhinos guest player Jimmy Keinhorst can't prevent New Zealand's Jeremy Marshall-King scoring. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“I said yes, they were scratching around for players so I thought I’d try and help out. I flew back and got into Manchester at 3 o’clock in the morning [on Saturday].”

The game kicked off just 15 hours later, but Keinhorst stressed: “It was good to come back and catch up with people.

“It was four or five weeks since we [Hull KR] finished up, so it has been a while since I did any kind of rugby-related training and then I had people like [giant Kiwi forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona] running at me.

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“But it’s all good, it’s a bit of fun. It was a bit of a hit-out for them and hopefully they got what they wanted out of it.”

Hull KR’s Jimmy Keinhorst, who made a guest appearance for Rhinos against New Zealand.  Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Hull KR’s Jimmy Keinhorst, who made a guest appearance for Rhinos against New Zealand.  Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Hull KR’s Jimmy Keinhorst, who made a guest appearance for Rhinos against New Zealand. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Keinhorst, 32, played for Leeds from 2012-2018 and was the first German international to appear for the club.

“It’s always nice to come back here,” he said. “I have got good memories of the place and it was good to catch up with a few familiar faces.”

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Former Rhinos captain Luke Gale, who spent last season at Hull FC, trained with Leeds last week, but was prevented from playing against New Zealand because of a one-match ban.

Rhinos coach Rohan Smith said: “It was one of those weeks where if there were blokes floating around and wanting to have a run around and keep fit, we were happy to invite people in.”