Leeds Rhinos: Segeyaro’s relishing Qualifiers challenge

James Segeyaro.
James Segeyaro.
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FORMER NRL hooker of the year James Segeyaro is ready to step into the unknown.

The ex-Papua New Guinea international was a key player for Leeds as they climbed off the bottom of Super League into ninth place at the end of the regular season.

They begin their First Utility Qualifiers campaign away to Featherstone Rovers today and Segeyaro admitted a relegation battle will be a whole new ball game.

“It’s not something I am used to,” admitted the 25-year-old.

“It’s the first time I’ve been in this situation.

“It is a different experience for myself, but it’s an exciting time.

“It is unfortunate from the club’s point of view we have ended up here, but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt with.

“We have got a big test this weekend at Featherstone, so I am looking forward to that challenge.”

Rovers finished fourth in the Kingstone Press Championship and are the lowest-ranked team in the Qualifiers.

But they boast their division‘s best defence, while Leeds are Super League’s lowest scorers and Segeyaro insisted: “It is going to be tough for us.

“We are playing against a few of our boys, who are on loan there and that will be different as well.

“We are definitely not taking them lightly at all.

“That’s when teams are dangerous, when you don’t prepare well, especially mentally.

“You have to come out firing.”

Rhinos have won all their three games since Segeyaro joined the club. He says he has settled in well, but has yet to make a decision on whether he will stay at Leeds next next year.

“I am pretty settled now,” Segeyaro said.

“I am still staying with Brett Delaney, but looking to get my own place.

“It will be good to have my own space, but other than that the boys have been awesome and the club and people.

“I could not ask for more and we’ve been winning games, which is all that really matters.”

Segeyaro is on loan from Penrith Panthers until the end of the season and has the option of a long-term contract at Leeds.

But he could return to the NRL if a club there comes in for him and he said: “I’ve not made a decision so far.

“I am not really looking at that. Obviously I am enjoying myself and the team is going good at this stage, but I don’t think I’ll come to a decision until I really sit down and talk to my family when the competition has finished.

“I will go back home and really think about it and take everything into consideration.”