Henry Paul returns to Union with Leeds

Henry Paul is to cross codes once again after it was announced on Wednesday he would be joining relegated English Premiership rugby union side Leeds next season.

The 34-year-old Paul will leave Harlequins rugby league club whenever the London club’s participation in this season’s Super Legue ends to join Leeds, who will be playing in the second-tier National League One, on a two-year deal.

Paul, a dual international having won 24 rugby league caps for New Zealand and six in the backs for England at rugby union, will be making his third switch between the two codes.

“A couple of things aren’t finished for me,” said Paul at a news conference here Wednesday.

“I would love to bring a team back into the Premiership, so that is a massive goal.

“This will be my last contract, I had a great run with the national set-up in my previous spell, I thoroughly loved playing sevens but I didn’t leave rugby union where I wanted to.

“I think I have been playing consistently over the last few seasons and I just want to continue that.

“My job in the team will be to let loose a few other players and tackle my guts out.”

Paul began his league career in England 15 years ago at Wakefield, barely 12 miles from Leeds’s Headingley home in Yorkshire, and now the hope at Leeds is that he will end his career in the centres.

“Players of his quality and experience rarely become available and his signing is great news for our club,” said Leeds’s director of rugby, Stuart Lancaster.

“Henry has played at the highest level consistently in both codes and his experience will be invaluable, especially with the exciting crop of youngsters we have coming into the first team.”

Sapa-AFP – Rugbyweek.com   

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