Ex-Leeds Rhinos man reveals what it was like seeing mentor James Segeyaro walk out of club

When coming through at Leeds Rhinos as a number nine, Sam Hallas didn’t have a lack of teachers to learn from.

In fact he got to learn from one of the NRL’s best nines to learn from as he worked with Leeds’ then star signing James Segeyaro.

“I learnt a boat load with James Segeyaro and when matt Parcell came in he did the same so it was as good of a start as I could have had,” Hallas spoke of Segeyaro exclusively to Serious About Rugby League.

He gave some insight into what it was like being behind Segeyaro in the pecking order to play hooker for the Rhinos:

“I wanted to play more but at the time with the situation the club were in with the club towards the bottom of the table and not performing well, I understand why I wasn’t playing, they’d brought Segeyaro in who was playing 80 minutes and absolutely flying.

“We needed to survive and was I anywhere near how good he was? No and I would never begrudge that because I know how good he was and I was privilege learning.

“I was probably getting a little bit frustrated that I wasn’t playing at the time but that’s sport. I’m never going to be annoyed that I’m not playing when there’s James Segeyaro and Rob Burrow in front of me. I was happy learning from them hoping that they’d give me a chance.

“To be fair they did give me a chance, I played four games but I don’t think I played as well as I could. But Leeds were fantastic with me.”

But what was it like for Hallas to see Segeyaro pull out of his contract and leave Leeds due to home sickness going into 2017 which for a spell left him as the only hooker at Headingley: “Part of me thought ‘oh bloody hell as if’ but I knew Leeds had had a rough season so I knew they weren’t going to go with just me, I was the only nine at the club at one point. From their point of view they were never going to go with just me.

“So I knew I wasn’t going to be the only nine, I knew I was very raw, in fact I was crying out for a mentor and Matt gave me that, he was incredible, his running game is incredible.”

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