LEEDS RHINOS captain Danny McGuire has signed for Hull Kingston Rovers on a two-year contract beginning next season.
The Kingstone Press Championship leaders - who are hoping to win promotion back to Betfred Super League through the middle-eights Qualifiers - have described McGuire’s signing as a “tremendous coup”.
McGuire, 34, turned down an option to stay at Rhinos next year and will instead reunite with his former Leeds teammate Jamie Peacock who is football manager at Hull KR.
The former Great Britain and England stand-off will link up with Rovers for pre-season in the autumn and has agreed to join Rovers whatever division they are playing in next season.
He said: “I could have quite easily stuck around at Leeds and finished my career here, but I feel like I’ve still got a lot to give and that I’m still playing well, so I’m looking forward to starting afresh and putting a marker down at Hull KR.
“Hopefully we can have a good season and create some good times there. I had a couple of options, but once I’d spoken to Jamie Peacock and [coach] Tim Sheens, I made my mind up pretty quickly.
Hopefully we can have a good season and create some good times there. I had a couple of options, but once I’d spoken to Jamie Peacock and [coach] Tim Sheens, I made my mind up pretty quickly.Danny McGuire on joining Hull KR
“With the direction the club is wanting to go and having the chance to work with somebody with Tim’s experience and everything he’s achieved in the game, it seemed the perfect fit.
“I know quite a few of the boys there already, the ex-Leeds lads and people like Shaun Lunt, so everything just felt right.”
McGuire, who confirmed last week he will leave Rhinos at the end of this season, added: “The main thing I want to let everybody know is that I’m coming over there to play well. I still feel like I’m playing well individually and I’ve got plenty of experience to add to the team.
“I’m not coming just to rest on my laurels and have a holiday, I want to be part of a successful team at Rovers.
“It’s an exciting challenge for me because I’ll basically be coming across having to prove myself all over again to everybody, not just my new teammates and my new coaches, but to the club and the fans.”
McGuire is Super League’s record try-scorer and one of the most decorated players of the modern era, with seven Grand Final victories to his name.
He has also won the World Club Challenge and league leaders’ shield on three occasions each and the Challenge Cup twice.
Sheens reckons McGuire - who has scored 262 tries in 414 appearances for Leeds - will “really add to our squad for next year”.
He said: “He’s had a few clubs looking at him, but I think he liked what he heard about us and the things we spoke about.
“We’ve had a good chat about how we see things and we were totally honest regarding our situation for next year, which wasn’t an issue for him.
“He’s a quality player who’s still playing good football this season. He also adds a lot to the club in terms of the value he brings with the media and sponsorship, plus his experience on the field.
“He’s got plenty of that and it will be brilliant for our younger half-backs to have the chance to work with him.
“The spine of your team is always the most important and with the likes of Danny and Shaun Lunt in there, we’re looking pretty strong in that area.
“Danny will be a big part of that. He has got a lot to offer, but hopefully he learns something new with us as well. He thinks he will and I do too.”