Konrad Hurrell keen to earn new Leeds Rhinos contract - Tongan star's deal ends this year but he hopes to stay on

Fans' favourite Konrad Hurrell has confirmed he wants to remain at Leeds Rhinos after his current contract expires this autumn.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 25th February 2021, 6:00 am

The Tongan centre has highlighted securing a new deal as his main individual goal for 2021.

Hurrell, 29, joined Rhinos from Gold Coast Titans on a marquee contract ahead of the 2019 season and has scored 21 tries in 38 games for the club.

He was a Challenge Cup winner - the first major trophy of his career - last year and featured in both Betfred Super League Dream Teams since moving to England.

Konrad Hurrell, with ball, says he has enjoyed pre-season this year. Picture by Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos.

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Because of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on travel, he has remained in Leeds throughout the off- and pre-season and insisted he feels “at home” in the city and at Rhinos.

“That’s my main goal, to try to play the best I can to hopefully stay in Leeds,” Hurrell said of his aims for 2021.

“Obviously, I have been enjoying it and I feel we have got a great squad now.

“Everyone’s getting along and I feel like I am at home.

“Hopefully I will get to impress the coaches and Kevin [Sinfield, Rhinos’ director of rugby] to help get me a couple more years.

“That’s the goal.”

Hurrell’s position is becoming one of Rhinos’ strongest, with three senior players vying for the role and as many youngsters knocking on the door.

Harry Newman is making good progress in his recovery from a broken leg suffered last September and Liam Sutcliffe showed outstanding form when he stepped in at left-centre.

Rookies Jack Broadbent and Corey Hall both had a taste of first team action last year and Hurrell pointed out: “There’s Alex Sutcliffe as well, he can play anywhere.

“He has played a few times in the centre and shown he can play there, so there’s not just us three.

“Rich [Agar, Rhinos’ coach] will pick whoever’s best for the team so we all have to train as hard as we can.

“Harry has been killing his rehab’ and we all think he will be back before the time the physios have said.

“It is good to see him doing that and hopefully everything will be okay with his ankle.”

Hurrell switched from left- to right-centre following Newman’s season-ending injury.

“I am not bothered, to be honest,” he said of which side of the field he prefers.

“[I’ll play] wherever. I didn’t mind going to the right because I played my whole NRL career on the right.”

Rhinos are now entering the final month of pre-season.

Their Super League campaign begins on March 27 with a derby against Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley and Hurrell revealed he expects to be available, despite “a few niggles” with a calf muscle.

He said: “It’s just from training, we have been doing a lot of high speed stuff.

“It is nothing major, I will be right with it - I’ll be good to go.”

He is also confident Rhinos will be in good shape for the big kick off.

“We are training hard and the boys are looking sharp and looking fit as well,” Hurrell said.

“We don’t have our full squad here yet, but everyone’s looking forward to having Matty [Prior] here and the new guy Zane [Tetevano, who is quarantining following his arrival this week].

“Apart from that, everyone’s looking good and we are all enjoying it.”

Hurrell stressed: “That’s the main thing. Pre-season is a time you don’t really enjoy coming into training, you get flogged pretty much every day, but at the same time the boys have been enjoying it and it has been good to see the young boys showing their potential to try and fight for a spot.

“Seeing them come out and training hard and trying to play for Leeds in the Super League, it has been pretty good.”

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