EXCITED former Leeds Rhinos and New Zealand boss Brian ‘Bluey’ McClennan cannot wait to return to the “best rugby league ground in the world.”
The Kiwi, who won consecutive Super League titles as Leeds chief in 2008 and 2009, is back in the country ready to celebrate Friday’s game between his homeland and the treble-winners.
They tackle each other at Headingley in a game that is expected to be sold-out and sees the likes of Leeds legends Kevin Sinfield, Kylie Leuluai and Jamie Peacock - who all played under McClennan before his departure in 2010 - all celebrated as they bow out from the club.
McClennan, who led New Zealand to a famous 2005 Tri-Nations final win over Australia, is relishing the chance to return to Headingley.
Watching Leeds’ captain’s run on Thursday, he said: “It is fantastic to be back.
“I really believe this is the greatest stadium for rugby league in the world.
“I love its history and seeing the old stands, being so close to the ground, and I can’t wait to hear the South Stand again on Friday night.
“I’m from New Zealand but have such a strong bond with both teams.
“It’s going to be a great match with the history of it all and I know it will be tough for Rhinos coming off the Grand Final win, while the Kiwis only arrived on Monday.
“But it will be a celebration match of rugby league especially saying farewells to Kev, Kylie, JP as well as Ali (Lauitiiti) and Adrian Morley, too.”