PAPUA NEW GUINEA hooker James Segeyaro, who controversially turned his back on Leeds Rhinos a year ago, has revealed he would return to the club if the chance arose, writes Peter Smith.
Segeyaro signed a two-year contract after helping Rhinos avoid relegation in 2016, but refused to return for pre-season training a year ago, citing homesickness.
Rhinos threatened legal action, eventually receiving a transfer fee when Segeyaro signed for Cronulla Sharks.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final between Papua New Guinea and England he revealed he has kept in touch with several of his old team-mates, including house-mate Brett Delaney and spoke with Leeds coach Brian McDermott, whose USA side faced PNG last weekend.
“It was good to catch up with Mac and a couple of other boys as well,” Segeyaro said. “They had a great year and congratulations to them for winning the Grand Final. Hopefully, there’s no bad blood.
“I really enjoyed my time there, the fans, the whole area, how the club works. They really care for you. If I ever had the opportunity to go back I would, at the back end of my career. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a great experience.”
If I ever had the opportunity to go back I would, at the back end of my career. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a great experience.James Segeyaro
On Sunday, Segeyaro will face two of his old team-mates, Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins, who he believes would be a big hit in the NRL.
“Kallum’s a freak,” he said. “I hoped he’d play over here in the NRL, he’d have been really good. Ryan is so consistent, every time he puts an England jumper on he’s always bringing the ball back hard, starting the sets off well.”