Super League’s greatest try-scorer Danny McGuire has signed a deal that takes him to a 20th year with trophy-laden Leeds Rhinos – and insists it is the future that excites him most.
The former England half-back, who has won six Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups with his hometown club, has agreed a two-year contract that takes him through to the end of 2017.
McGuire, who turns 33 in December, will feature with Leeds tomorrow in France as they seek a win against Catalans Dragons which would edge them closer to a first League Leaders’ Shield since 2009.
“I never had any intention of going anywhere else,” said the player, who scored his 256th try for the West Yorkshire club in last month’s Challenge Cup final win over Hull KR.
“I’m a Leeds lad and have played my entire career here, but it is always nice to know the club sees you as part of their future too.
“We have had some incredible times over the last few years and this deal will mean I’ve been here for 20 years in total.
“But it is the future that most excites me. We have got a fantastic group of young players that remind me a lot of the group of players I came through the academy with.
“If I can help the team develop over the next few years, that is something I will very much enjoy and I am really pleased to get this deal sorted.”
McGuire, who debuted in 2001 and emerged with the likes of fellow Rhinos great Rob Burrow, has evolved his game from his early days when his pace and support play were key.
Now he is more of an organiser for the side, a role which will become more important when captain and half-back partner Kevin Sinfield switches codes to Yorkshire Carnegie at the end of this season.
With a raft of talented youngsters such as Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward and Brad Singleton now making their mark, it is understandable that McGuire is excited by the future.
Sinfield, Jamie Peacock, Kylie Leuluai and Paul Aiton are all departing at the end of 2015, but it seems the club are in safe hands.
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott added: “Danny has been in outstanding form this season and a virtual ever present throughout the campaign.
“He is part of a special generation of players who have influenced the history of this club and I know he still has a key part to play in our future.”