Luke Gale: Gutted to lose Leeds Rhinos captaincy but I was wrong and it is time to move on from week to forget

TO BE honest, I didn’t want this article to be about the events of the past week.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 5:39 pm
WRONG MOVE: Luke Gale admits he made the wrong decision over not to attend a Leeds Rhinos' training session. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

I wasn’t going to comment, but there are so many rumours flying around - 99 per cent of them being complete rubbish - I’ve decided I need to clear up what actually happened.

I am not going into details, but there was a bit of a disagreement between me and Rich Agar in a team meeting.

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Luke Gale believes Australian Matt Prior will prove to be an excellent captain for Leeds Rhinos moving forward. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

There’s a rumour mill in rugby league and it has been running at full speed. I’ve read I was fighting with Richie Myler - who is a good friend of mine - and all sorts of other rubbish and none of it is true.

My opinion is this was an internal matter and I would have liked it to be dealt with that way, but now it has been made public I feel I have to address it and end the speculation.

I’ve seen rumours I stormed off, but there was no storming involved.

The meeting ended fine and then we had a field session after it.

DROPPED: Luke Gale was withdrawn from the Leeds Rhinos team that faced Salford Red Devils at Headingley last Friday. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

I didn’t feel I was in a position mentally to go out and do that session, so I didn’t train.

I left and I apologise for that.

I have spoken to the boys as a group.

I have said I am sorry and admitted I let them down by leaving training, which is an unprofessional thing to do.

I thought at the time I was doing the right thing, but it was the wrong decision.

I regret it and I apologise to the boys and to Rich and his coaching staff for leaving. There is no problem between me and Rich or anyone else at the club.

I have been punished for what I did and I hold my hands up.

I have lost the captaincy off the back of it, which I am gutted about.

I’ve made no secret of what it meant to me to captain this club and I have lost that.

I am a big lad and I will take it on the chin, but on the other hand, I am grateful for the opportunity to be captain and leading these boys to the Challenge Cup trophy is a memory that will live with me forever.

Matt Prior captained the team last week and he is an absolute diamond of a bloke; he is a great player, he is playing well and he has just signed a new two-year deal.

He will be a great captain and will lead from the front in everything he does.

It’s a massive honour for him and his family and I wish him all the best in the role.

As far as I am concerned, it is all over and done with now.

I am paid to play rugby and help this Leeds team win matches and that is all I am focusing on.

We have had so much bad news, games getting cancelled all the time and now the World Cup is seriously in doubt, so let’s get rid of the negativity and move on.

I’d like to think this goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway - I am fully committed to the club, the team and my job here.

I love these boys, I love the team, the squad and the club and I am so proud to be a Rhinos player.

The last week has been a tough time for me and my family, it is hard hearing rumours about yourself you know aren’t true.

I am bitterly disappointed about what’s happened and I can’t hide that, but now we all move on. I trained on Monday, we had a great session and there’s a really good atmosphere in the camp.

We are getting ready for Hull FC on Thursday and preparations have gone great.

What matters now is we get back out there, build on last week’s win and get ourselves up the table and into the play-off positions.