IN-FORM HOOKER Matt Parcell admits he still has long-term ambitions in Australia’s NRL, but insists he is loving life at Leeds Rhinos.
Parcell has been a big hit since joining Leeds from Manly Sea Eagles in the closed season.
Brought in at short-notice to replace James Segeyaro, the Papua New Guinea international who refused to return for pre-season training, Parcell has scored 13 tries in 18 appearances and proved a key figure in Rhinos’ revival after the disappointment of last year.
“I’m enjoying it,” Parcell said of the first half of his debut campaign in England. “I have settled in well and I thought I’d like it here. I really enjoy the fans; they really get into the chanting and in terms of the style I enjoy the freedom to sort of play footy and what’s in front of you.
“Leeds’ style suits me and I’m enjoying my football. Things are going well.”
Parcell, who is on a three-year contract, made 21 NRL appearances with Brisbane Broncos and Manly before switching to Super League.
“Obviously, I would like to go back to the NRL one day, but I’m just concentrating on doing well here with Leeds,” he added.
“It has been a pretty tough period with three games in eight days and that is unusual. I’m not used to that as it’s not something you’d get in the NRL, but you get on with it and we’re all looking forward to Saturday’s game at Wakefield now.”
With Trinity fourth on the table, one place below Leeds, the round-18 derby looks like a four-pointer.
“They are playing well and they got a great win at the weekend over at Salford,” Parcell observed. “We’ve played them once before so we know a bit about them.
I have settled in well and I thought I’d like it here. I really enjoy the fans; they really get into the chanting and in terms of the style I enjoy the freedom to sort of play footy and what’s in front of you.Leeds Rhinos’ Matt Parcell.
“I don’t know any of their Aussie lads personally, but David Fifita goes well and it’s unfortunate Jacob Miller’s just broken his leg.
“They’re on a good run, but we’re looking to string our own run together now and we’re looking forward to going over there. With the way it is in the table – we’re level on points – we know how important it is to get the win.”
Rhinos have been the big improvers in Betfred Super League this year, after finishing ninth last term.
But with Castleford Tigers, Salford Red Devils and Wakefield making up the rest of the top four, the table has an unusual look.
Rhinos are the only past Grand Final winners in the top five and Parcell reckons a changing of the guard is positive for the competition as a whole.
“It is good to see,” he said. “Obviously it’s my first year in Super League, but I know it is different to see the likes of Salford and Wakefield up there.
“But it’s good for the competition and it shows anyone can beat anyone else on the day. Castleford are obviously the best team at the moment and deserve to be up there at the top, but we don’t mind others talking about them, Salford and Wakey.
“We’ll just carry on quietly doing what we’re doing.”