Leeds Rhinos' Matt Parcell and Hull KR's Shaun Lunt swap clubs

THE swap deal that sees Leeds Rhinos hooker Matt Parcell join Hull KR in exchange for former England international Shaun Lunt has been completed.

Shaun Lunt, left, with Kevin Sinfield after winning the 2012 Grand Final with Leeds Rhinos (SWPix)
Shaun Lunt, left, with Kevin Sinfield after winning the 2012 Grand Final with Leeds Rhinos (SWPix)

Australian Parcell, 26, has moved to the Robins on loan until the end of the season.Similarly, Lunt - the ex-Huddersfield Giants rake who won the Grand Final when on loan at Leeds in 2012 - will link up at Headingley for the rest of the campaign but, out of contract at the Robins, could then stay on for 2020.

Parcell might come into contention for KR’s derby against Hull FC tomorrow while Lunt is also in the reckoning for Sunday’s game against Catalans Dragons.

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With Rovers and Leeds locked on points at the bottom of Super League, it will be intriguing to see who get the best out of the deal as they each bid to avoid relegation.

Shaun Lunt in action for Hull KR against Leeds earlier this season. (SWPix)

Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “Shaun is an outstanding professional who knows our club well.

“He had a huge impact on the squad during his first spell here and I know he was very keen to remain at the club at the time.

“Having met with Shaun this week, he is in great shape and ready to go this Sunday.

“The deal is initially until the end of this season but there is an opportunity for him to earn a contract for next season with his performances.

Leeds Rhinos' Matt Parcell who has joined Hull KR. (SWPix)

“On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to wish Matt Parcell well for the future.

“He was a Grand Final winner with us in 2017 and leaves with our best wishes.

“This continues our work to renovate the squad for next season and allows us room to look at recruiting for this season and the future both in terms of the salary cap and the overseas quota.”

Ex-Brisbane Broncos and Manly Sea Eagles rake Parcell joined Leeds ahead of their 2017 season when he finished in the Dream Team.

He has struggled for game-time this season with Brad Dwyer predominantly taking on the hooking duties and leaves Rhinos with 31 tries in 79 appearances.

“I’m delighted to have Matt at the club,” said Robins boss Tony Smith.

“He’s a player that I have admired for some time. He’s got some abilities, and some areas that I think I can help him improve on.

“What he has got is something that we’re lacking a little bit at the moment and that’s depth in that dummy-half position.

“He can split teams up and we need to do that. I think he’ll do a fantastic job for us and he’ll slot in very well.

“The hooker role is highly crucial - it’s the first person to get their hands on the ball. If they make good decisions, passes and runs, it changes the whole way you play. We haven’t had too many specialists in that position in recent times so that will give us a real boost.

“Matt is looking forward to it and getting more game-time. We can help him out with that and he can help us too.

“He’s a very proud player and he know he can play at that ‘Dream Team’ level. I think it’s really exciting times for all of us.”

Lunt, 32, was captain of Hull KR until this season when Joel Tomkins took over and made 92 appearances for the club.

He missed the start of this season after suffering the potentially life-threatening sepsis from an infected abscess on his spine last September.

Lunt has struggled to feature for the Robins since but said: “I am delighted to be back and can’t wait to get started with the Rhinos.

“I had five wonderful years at Hull KR and I am pleased that I have left them on good terms.

“I am excited about the challenge here at Leeds.

“There are so many great young kids in this side and I am looking forward to working with them.

“My focus is just on helping the Rhinos each week and we will see where that takes us come the end of the season.”