Leeds Rhinos star Kruise Leeming happy to fly Swaziland flag against England

LEEDS RHINOS hooker Kruise Leeming has expressed how proud he was to represent his Swaziland heritage for the Combined Nations All Stars against England - the country he eventually hopes to play for.

Leeds Rhinos' Kruise Leeming, left, moves in to celebrate with Combined Nations All Stars team-mates Chris Satae and Luke Yates after their win over England. (ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX)

The ex-Huddersfield Giants star came off the bench for Tim Sheens’ side in Friday’s 26-24 success over England before backing up for Leeds, starting and scoring in yesterday's 38-12 victory at Salford Red Devils.

Leeming, 25, was born in Swaziland, the country in southern Africa now known as Eswatini, but raised in Halifax having moved to his late father’s hometown when aged three.

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He has already represented England Knights and trained with Shaun Wane’s England squad in April.

Kruise Leeming scores for Leeds Rhinos in their win over Salford Red Devils. (ED SYKES/SWPIX)

However, Leeming was unable to force his way into the hosts’ squad due to reigning Man of Steel Paul McShane - the Castleford Tigers hooker who debuted on Friday - and Daryl Clark.

But he explained: “My agent Iestyn Harris rang me and said Tim Sheens knew about my Swaziland background and, if I wasn’t in the England squad, did I want to play for the All Stars instead?

“I thought ‘why not?’

“It was fantastic. It was nice to pay back a little bit of Swaziland heritage towards my mum’s side.

“She was really proud. I had the Swaziland flag on my arm as well which was nice.

“We knew it would be tough but it was great to do.”

Leeming, who won the Challenge Cup with Leeds last year and still harbours hopes of making England’s World Cup squad, added: “We had a week’s camp which was great and the lads were great, too.

“We only had two training sessions so we didn’t have long together on the field but we spent a lot of time together off it, going for coffees together and eating together, so we quickly forged team spirit.

“You could see that on the pitch; we celebrated good moments together and got around each other when things didn’t go right.

“I really enjoyed the experience.

“And it was nice to then get a second win with Leeds on Sunday, too.

“It was a bit scrappy but it was great to score so many points against Salford and we needed that victory.”