Luke Gale: 'I loved my time at Leeds Rhinos but Hull FC is perfect fit'

Luke Gale says he “absolutely loved” being a Leeds Rhinos player, but his transfer to Hull is the “perfect fit”.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 9:16 am

Gale has signed a one-year contract at Hull, with an option for a second season to be triggered when he plays a certain number of games.

The England half-back suffered three serious injuries in 2021 which - along with two suspensions - limited him to only 11 appearances.

He was also dropped for one match and had the captaincy taken away following a disagreement with coach Richard Agar.

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Luke Gale has swapped blue and amber for black and white. Picture c/o Hull FC.

That led to Gale being linked with Wakefield Trinity and Hull KR, but he stressed the only club he spoke to was Hull.

Explaining his departure from Leeds, the 33-year-old half-back said: “I thought it was the best thing for me personally.

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“It kind of happened naturally, it was a good fit and I was happy to take the move on.

Luke Gale on the attack for Rhinos against Hull last season. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“That’s just how it works, I know I had a year left on my contract, but I wanted to come to Hull.

“I wanted to be somewhere I feel I can go on, I think it is the perfect thing for me.”

Gale admitted last season was “one of the toughest years I’ve had”.

He recalled: “I tore my pec’ in pre-season, then had a couple of niggling injuries and did my MCL (medial collateral ligament) towards the back end.

“It was a nightmare year, I didn’t enjoy it one bit and I thought coming here would be the best move.

“I thought it was right for me and my family.

“I am excited and I am relishing the opportunity and new challenge.”

Gale began his career in Rhinos’ academy before spells with Doncaster on loan, Harlequins, Bradford Bulls and Castleford Tigers.

He signed a three-year deal with Leeds ahead of the 2020 season and insisted he has no regrets.

As captain, he led Rhinos to a Challenge Cup win last year and stated: “I thank Gary [Hetherington, Rhinos’ chief executive] - and I know Kev [Sinfield, then director of rugby] was a big part of it - for getting me back to Leeds.

“I absolutely loved my time there, I made friends who will be friends for life.

“My memories of 2020, captaining the boys and leading them out and my name being on the Challenge Cup as Leeds captain, is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

“It is something I am really proud of and I wish them all the best for the future.”

The move to Hull has reunited Gale with his good friend and former Tigers captain Michael Shenton who is on the coaching staff there after retiring as a player at the end of last season.

Gale confirmed he hopes to follow in Shenton’s footsteps when he hangs up his boots.

“He had a really big impact on my career,” Gale said of Shenton.

“I have been doing a bit with him - I kept calling him ‘skip’ and he’s my coach now.

“He gave me a shove and said ‘you can’t call me that’.”

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