Eastmond plugs Rhinos gap

04 March 2021 00:18:03 GMTPlus10

Leeds Rhinos have moved quickly to ease their injury crisis ahead of the new Super League season by signing former St Helens half-back Kyle Eastmond.

Eastmond has signed from Leicester Tigers, having switched codes back in 2011. The 31-year-old went on to play for England six times and also played in the Premiership for both Bath and Wasps.

This move is about me playing my very best rugby.

Kyle Eastmond

Leeds were forced into action following the news that Rob Lui will miss the start of the season after suffering a torn quad, while full-back Jack Walker will miss the entire season with a foot injury.

Captain Luke Gale is also a doubt for the start of the season with a torn pectoral, leaving the Rhinos severely short of playmakers at half-back.

Eastmond joins on a two-year contract and the Headingley hierarchy are delighted with their new signing.

Director of rugby Kevin Sinfield told the club's official website: "We are delighted to be able to bring Kyle Eastmond back to Rugby League.

"With the injury to Rob Lui, we have been keen to boost our options in the half-back position and I am sure Kyle will excel in our environment."

Eastmond himself added: "I think the time is right for me to come back to League now. This move is about me playing my very best rugby and I think this environment and this group of staff and players gives me confidence that I can do that."

Leeds will be hoping to improve on last season's fifth-placed and they are 14/1 to win the Grand Final at Old Trafford and 20/1 to lift the League Leader's Shield, while they a 1212/1 shot to win the Challenge Cup Final.

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