Re-signed Peacock targets Wembley win with Leeds Rhinos

Jamie Peacock makes an offload.
Jamie Peacock makes an offload.
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WINNING AT Wembley is one of the goals Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock wants to achieve before he hangs up his boots in two years’ time.

Rhinos yesterday confirmed Peacock has signed a new two-year contract and will retire when that expires at the end of 2015.

The former England captain, who was previously contracted until the autumn of this year, celebrated his 36th birthday last month and is preparing for his 16th Super League campaign,

Putting a date on his retirement now will allow him to concentrate on the final two years of his career and start preparing for life off the field.

“You have got to stop sometime,” he said. “This means I will stop getting asked about when I’m going to retire and I can plan for the future afterwards.

“I think 2015 will be plenty enough seasons for me and there are still things I want to achieve.

“It would be great to win at Wembley. I want to do that with the team and that is one of my goals.”

Peacock has a tough act to follow after being named Rhinos’ player of the year last season, but he insisted: “If you set high standards for yourself, you want to maintain them.

“My goals for myself I will keep to myself, but I want to keep my standards high for the two years I have got left.”

Peacock admitted he is keen to help bring on Rhinos’ next generation of players.

With eight of Rhinos’ first team squad being aged 30 or older the team is approaching a transitional phase and Peacock wants to ensure the club is left in good hands.

He said: “I think that’s part of your job as a senior player, to make sure standards are high when you are in and around training and to make sure the next generation come through and have that self-discipline and mental toughness that’s required to be a good Super League player.”

Peacock has not played in either of Rhinos’ two trial games so far, but is expected to feature in Ryan Bailey’s testimonial game at home to London Broncos on Friday night.

Boss Brian McDermott, who played alongside Peacock at Bradford in the early years of his career, is planning to field a first-choice side in Leeds’ only full-scale warm-up before their First Utility Super League opener at Hull KR on February 16.

“I am feeling good,”Peacock said. “It has been a long pre-season for myself, I have been in for 12 weeks now and I am looking forward to getting out there and playing. Friday is important for us. We’ve got the full team out and it’ll be the only time this pre-season. I think it’s important people get there and watch and support Bails’ testimonial. He has been at the heart of this team for a long time.”

Peacock has played with and against Bailey and added: “When he’s on top of his game he’s as good as any front-rower in the competition, particularly defensively.

“I don’t think there’s anyone can match him defensively when he’s at the top end of his game. That’s where he wants to play this year, I think he wants to get himself back in the England squad and show everybody what he’s capable of.

“He can do that, it’s just down to him and how well he wants to play. He knows his top game is good enough for that squad.”

Meanwhile, McDermott has welcomed Peacock’s contract extension. He said: “The fact he has set a timetable for the end of his career will only drive him on and I know he willl be looking to go out at the very top of his game.”

Kallum Watkins. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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