Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock forced out of retirement by Hull KR injuries

Jamie Peacock
Jamie Peacock
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Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock is coming out of playing retirement to help in Hull KR’s battle against relegation.

Peacock, 38, hung up his boots after Rhinos’ Grand Final victory over Wigan Warriors last year, which completed the treble of all available domestic trophies.

He joined Hull KR as head of rugby last autumn, but confirmed today he is in training and plans to play for the Robins in the Qualifiers.

Last Saturday’s defeat by Leigh left Hull KR fourth in the table and in danger of being dragged into the million pound game.

Rovers say Peacock was officially registered as a player by the club before the deadline at the end of July, began training individually in the gym six weeks ago and took part in a field session with James Webster’s squad for the first time on Tuesday.

He could make his comeback away to London Broncos on Sunday.

Peacock told Rovers’ website: “I’ve been happily retired for almost a year now and bowing out in last season’s Grand Final with the Rhinos was the perfect way to bring my career to an end, but the time has come for me to put my boots on again.

“Although my family don’t quite understand it, this feels like the right decision and I’m looking forward to getting back out there as quickly as possible.

“Physically, it may take me some time to get back up to speed, but I’ve been preparing as best I can and mentally I’m in a good place.

“I’m going to fully embrace the challenge and do all I can to help the team until the end of the season.”

Peacock added: “With the loss of three more players to injury against Leigh on Saturday and Maurice Blair returning home to Australia temporarily this week, we are now down to the bare bones in terms of the squad.

“Our policy throughout the season has always been to blood our younger players, but now is not the time to be putting the pressure on them given what is at stake over the next three weeks.

“Unfortunately, salary cap restraints meant we were limited in terms of bringing in reinforcements before the deadline, but we explored the option of using somebody internally and I was officially registered as a Hull KR player with the RFL in case of emergency.

“I understand my decision will be a big talking point, but as far as I’m concerned I’m just focusing on training as hard as I can and getting back out there on the field as quickly as possible. I know it won’t be easy to just pick up where I left off after nearly 12 months out of the sport, but I’m determined to give it my best shot.”

Peacock is a former England and Great Britain captain, was crowned Man of Steel in 2003 and awarded an MBE four years ago for services to the sport.

He made more than 500 appearances for Leeds, Bradford, Yorkshire, England and Great Britain and last October’s triumph was his ninth Grand Final win.

Peacock will in his role as head of rugby, alongside training with the first team squad.