NEW SIGNING Brett Ferres has described joining Leeds Rhinos as a “no-brainer”.
Ferres said he was “over the moon” to link up with the treble-winners, after being transfer-listed by Huddersfield Giants following allegations over his private life.
The 29-year-old back-rower moved to Headingley yesterday for an undisclosed fee but the club have not used their salary cap marquee allowance to sign him.
Ferres began his career with Bradford Bulls and played for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Castleford Tigers before arriving at Huddersfield in 2013.
He was suspended by Giants after starring for England in last autumn’s Test series win over New Zealand and admitted it has been a “turbulent few months”.
He said: “To get the opportunity to come into an establishment like this and get my first pick, so to speak, is fantastic.
“I’m over the moon with getting things sorted and I can look forward to the season now.”
Ferres, who had attracted interest from other Super League sides as well as several in Australia’s NRL, insisted: “I want to play for the best clubs and I think I’ve certainly managed to do that here.
“It was a bit of a no-brainer because, if we’re being honest, every player in Super League would probably like to play for a club like Leeds if they had the opportunity.
“I’m delighted and very thankful and now I’ve got to work hard and knuckle down.”
Ferres has signed an initial one-year deal and sees joining Leeds as an opportunity to pick up silverware.
“I’ve won one trophy in my career and that was the World Club Challenge during my early days at Bradford,” he said.
“You see the success the club have had lately and it makes it an even easier decision to come and be a part of it.”
Ferres – who scored the winning try against Leeds at Headingley on his full Bradford debut in 2006 – will add to an already strong pack and believes he has yet to reach his peak.
“I think over the last couple of years I’ve been very consistent with what I’ve been doing and hopefully the
confidence I gained last year can help me kick on with a very good club,” he stated.
“I missed large chunks of last season through injury, but got back towards the back end. I played against Leeds and Wigan and thought I got a bit of form pretty quickly.
“I got selected for England and managed to kick on a bit and I really enjoyed that. It was a good season for me personally, this is a fresh start and I am looking forward to the opportunity.”
Ferres said he is happy to take on a leadership role for Rhinos, following the departure of Kevin Sinfield and Jamie Peacock.
“I’ve always done that,” he said. “I think actions speak louder than words and I’ll be putting my hand up to do the tough stuff for the team.
“I’ve got to come in here and get the respect of the boys and everyone around the club, but it’s a fresh start and one I’m really looking forward to.”
The spotlight will be on Rhinos’ newest recruit following his off-field issue, particularly when Huddersfield visit Headingley on March 4.
But he insisted: “I think there has always been pressure on me.
“It’s a love-hate thing that fans have, but the perception supporters have of me doesn’t really bother me too much.
“I want to go out there and do my thing on the field, make my children proud and that’s what I’ll keep doing.”
Of Giants’ decision to place him on the transfer list, he stressed: “It was their call, it’s how they wanted to manage their situation and it’s their loss at the end of the day.”
Asked if he was disappointed with the way his spell at Huddersfield ended, he added: “Yes, but that’s in the past now.
“It has gone, unfortunately that’s the way things go and I am moving forward now.”
Ferres is Rhinos’ fifth signing ahead of the new campaign - all of them forwards.
“He has clearly got some offensive strike,” coach Brian McDermott said of his latest recruit.
“He is a very potent player, he works hard, very athletic.
“If you watch his recent games I would be hesitant to use the term ‘no brainer’ whether if you get offered him you would sign him, but we’re not far off.”