Ryan Hall backs former team-mate Zak Hardaker to have positive impact on return to Leeds Rhinos

Ryan Hall has backed former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Zak Hardaker to have a positive impact on and off the field following his return to Headingley.

The Rhinos have secured the services of Hardaker on a deal until the end of the season after he left Wigan Warriors under a cloud last week.

He scored 67 tries in 155 appearances in his first spell at Leeds between 2011 and 2016, during which time he won three Super League titles and the Man of Steel award.

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Hall played alongside Hardaker throughout the full-back's stay at Headingley, as well as at international level with England and Great Britain.

Zak Hardaker and Ryan Hall celebrate Leeds' 2014 Challenge Cup victory. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The signing of the controversial 30-year-old has divided the Leeds fanbase but Hall has only positive memories of their time together as team-mates.

"I really get on well with Zak and we had a good professional relationship on the field," said the experienced winger. "I know he can bring that side to Leeds.

"He's got a bit of history there but every player has. His is just a bit more public than everyone else's.

"Players in the same team might do some bad stuff and get away with it. Zak seems to always get found out.

Zak Hardaker and Ryan Hall celebrate a try at Wakefield. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"All the best to him. He's found a new club and it's no coincidence that every club he leaves he finds a new club straight away because he's got that talent on the field.

"Playing rugby is what it's all about, at the end of the day."

Hall will enjoy a reunion with Hardaker on Friday night when current club Hull KR travel to Headingley to face Leeds.

The 34-year-old is expecting Hardaker to be at his competitive best on his second debut for the Rhinos.

Zak Hardaker, far left, and Ryan Hall, far right, were both named in the 2014 Dream Team. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"That's Zak all over," said Hall. "He's ultra-competitive.

"Sometimes to throw someone like that into an environment - and I don't know what the environment is like at Leeds - it'll work wonders for the team.

"It's not going to happen overnight but he's first up against us and we'll see how it goes.

"He's an England international and won the Man of Steel at Leeds. He's a very dangerous player and makes any team a more dangerous side."

For Hall, it will be a first trip to Headingley to face the Rhinos since his departure at the end of 2018.

The former Leeds favourite, who marked his return to his old stomping ground with a hat-trick against Catalans Dragons on his Rovers debut last year, plans to savour every moment of his homecoming.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to the field I played on so many times," said Hall.

"The team has evolved quite a lot since I was there but there are certainly some faces off the field that I'd like to go say hello to.

"I want to really enjoy the day."