ALTHOUGH he walked the red carpet this week in his latest role as film producer, Jamie Jones-Buchanan is looking forward to getting back to the more familiar surface of Headingley’s pitch when Leeds Rhinos host Warrington Wolves tonight.
It is hard to work out just how the gregarious veteran forward – the second oldest player in Super League after Warrington’s Ben Westwood – has the time to fit in all his long list of off-field pursuits.
His energy and drive away from the game is certainly just as formidable as it is when the former England second-row is tackling opposition packs.
Working as a television host on the Rugby AM programme, often undertaking radio punditry work while treading the boards as a stage actor and doing the rounds as a public speaker, the 36-year-old almost makes everyone else seem relatively lazy.
Jones-Buchanan’s latest project has been working as an executive producer on As Good As It Gets?, a film about Rhinos’ golden generation and 2015 treble triumph which premiered to great acclaim on Monday as part of Leeds International Festival.
“I am really pleased with it, in fact I am over the moon,” he said, not surprisingly given the fascinating film, made by The City Talking, has been picked up by Amazon Prime and will be available worldwide.
“I probably under-estimated, when we set out, how little you could tell in an hour-and-a-half.
“I think the story is very acute; it sticks to Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, myself and a few lads who joined the journey a little bit later on. The thing that stands out to me at the end of it is how many stories weren’t told.
“At first, I looked at it and I started to panic, what’s everybody going to think – especially people like Adam Cuthbertson and Tommy Briscoe? There isn’t enough in there about Tommy Briscoe.
“This weekend Luke Briscoe (Tom’s brother, who plays for Featherstone Rovers) could go on and get a record.
“It’s a record he has already equalled (Martin Offiah’s post-war mark of tries in 15 consecutive games) and Tommy has got the most tries (five) in a Challenge Cup final, but who’s going to tell their story?
“Who is doing the 45-minute documentary the NFL would do?
“Nobody is doing it. It’s not a complaint, I just hope this is a bit of a catalyst for people to keep telling the stories of rugby league. We all need to tell them.
“As far as a group of players who came through and went on a mad journey, you’ve the core of that story. I’m very, very happy.”
I just hope this is a bit of a catalyst for people to keep telling the stories of rugby league. We all need to tell them.Jamie Jones-Buchanan
Jones-Buchanan, of course, has not taken his eye off the day-job and a win against Warrington would seem the defending champions rise to fourth.
Rhinos beat Warrington on the opening day of the season but their rivals are now the competition’s form team on an eight-match winning run.
“Warrington are flying high,” admitted Jones-Buchanan.
“Josh Charnley has come back (from union) and hit world-class form instantly so they will be a massive challenge for us.
“Where we are at currently, we have got a lot of improvement to do. We are a good side, we know we are. We have a lot of good ingredients. But we’ve not been putting them together as well as we should have been recently.
“If you can’t do it for Warrington at home, though, you’re not going to do it for anything, so we’re really looking forward to it.”
Leeds prop Brad Singleton, 25, has signed a new deal until the end of 2020.
The Ireland international, came through the Academy ranks at Headingley and has now firmly established himself after the retirement of Peacock and Kylie Leuluai, two of the As Good As It Gets? stars.