Leeds Rhinos' Rob Lui puts contract uncertainty aside to focus on new Super League campaign

Leeds Rhinos' Australian stand-off Rob Lui plans to let his rugby do the talking this year.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 6:00 am

Lui, who will turn 31 next Tuesday, is in the final year of the contract he signed following his move from Salford Red Devils midway through 2019.

He has yet to make a decision on his future, but insisted his focus is entirely on helping Rhinos’ young squad take another step forward - and adding to the medal he won last term.

“It is my last year and I still don’t know what I am going to do,” Lui confirmed. “I will speak to my family and we’ll go from there.

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Last year's play-offs loss to Catalans Dragons still hurts Rhinos' Rob Lui. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“I am going to let my footy do the talking, I have got all faith in Leeds and all the young players coming through.

“This year I just want to teach those boys what I have learned over my years and, also, I want to win a few more trophies.”

Lui was part of Rhinos’ Challenge Cup-winning side, against his former club Salford, at Wembley four months ago.

Leeds went on to finish fifth in Betfred Super League, but were beaten by Catalans Dragons in the first round of the play-offs and Lui admitted that still stings.

Rob Lui is enjoying being back in the fold after contracting coronavirus. Picture by Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos

“The way we finished last year wasn’t the way we - as a playing group and as a club - wanted to finish,” he recalled.

“We did all the hard work, then to play like that against Catalans ... we have had a look at that game and it wasn’t a good feeling.

“That is going to be the drive for us in pre-season and during the season this year.”

Lui stressed: “It is unfinished business.

“We know what we want as a group and we have got the right people around us.

“Davo [Jason Davidson] taking over as head conditioner, he is on to us and we have also got those young players.

“Harry [Newman] is coming back [from a broken leg] and he is looking strong, looking good.

“We have got Corey Hall and Liam Tindall and I think the squad is going to grow and grow. I think we will go a long way.”

After more than a year commuting from his home in the Salford area, Lui and his family recently moved across the Pennines and are now living in Leeds.

The first difference he has noted is the weather.

“We haven’t seen so much snow since we’ve been here in England,” the Queensland-born play-maker said.

“In Manchester it’s always raining!”

Lui insisted: “We are loving it, we have settled in okay - there’s a lot of parks for the boys to walk in, which keeps them busy.

“I get to wake up at 8 o’clock and I am at training early, instead of waking up at 6am.”

Lui was among the players who tested positive for coronavirus, leading to Rhinos’ Kirkstall training ground being closed for 11 days.

He had to go through a return to play protocol, but reported he is “getting better and better”.

He said: “I am asthmatic, though not that severe.

“I was more vulnerable to shortage of breath with that and the headaches, but I have been getting my strength back.

“I pretty much couldn’t taste anything, I wasn’t eating, but I am glad that’s over.

“I am happy we have moved over and I just want to get stuck in, because the season is just around the corner.”

Lui had to take time out from training because of the virus, but has been impressed with how his teammates are performing.

Rhinos are half way through preparations for the new campaign, which begins against Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley on Saturday, March 27.

“From watching the boys, the intensity is up there,” Lui reported. “Everything is at speed and these young boys, in their second pre-season, they have got more confidence.

“They are first grade players and they have to show that to the coaches.

“They are keeping us older boys on our toes, which is good.”

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