Leeds Rhinos: Hetherington doesn’t expect any more player departures

Gary Hetherington.
Gary Hetherington.
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LEEDS RHINOS’ squad is under contract for next year and chief executive Gary Hetherington says he does not expect any more departures.

Stand-off Danny McGuire, half-back/hooker Rob Burrow and prop Jordan Baldwinson will all leave Rhinos at the end of the season.

Catalans Dragons’ Richie Myler has been signed to replace McGuire who is moving to Hull KR.

Brad Dwyer has been recruited from Warrington Wolves in place of the retiring Burrow and Leeds this week confirmed the signing of Samoan front-rower Nathaniel Peteru from Gold Coast Titans.

Hetherington said he will take over from Baldwinson who is joining Wakefield Trinity.

“There’s nobody else [leaving],” Hetherington said.

“Everybody is in contract for next year.”

No official announcement has been made about veteran forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan, but it is understood the 36-year-old will play on next season.

Hetherington said squad numbers for 2018 will be announced after the club’s annual end-of-season review of the playing staff.

The date of Peteru’s arrival at Leeds will depend on whether he is selected for Samoa’s World Cup squad.

Hetherington said if he features in the global tournament, which begins next month and ends in December, he will begin pre-season training in January.

If not, he will begin his Leeds career at the start of preparations in November.

Other players involved in the World Cup will be in a similar situation.

“We are really pleased to have signed him,” Hetherington said of Peteru.

“Quite a long time ago we identified probably six players from the NRL who fitted the bill for us and Nathaniel was our preferred choice.

“I think he will be outstanding.”

Hetherington confirmed front-rower Keith Galloway, who is recovering from Achilles surgery for the second time in as many seasons, will be missing for the start of the 2018 campaign.

“We are not sure how long he is going to be missing for, but we will be going into the season without one of our pack of forwards,” he added.