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Exclusive: Ex-Leeds Rhinos man reveals he nearly joined Super League rivals after Grand Final disappointment

Matt Adamson for Leeds Rhinos

There is somewhat of a gross oversimplification in the way people perceive Leeds Rhinos dynasty.

The Rhinos’ Golden Generation kickstarted with a 2004 Grand Final win and it is somewhat assumed that they just kicked on from there.

In actual fact, there was a transition from that team to the 2007-09 side who won four Grand Finals in a row. In fact, only seven players from the 17 who won the 2004 Grand Final featured in the 2007 win over St Helens.

This came as many players left the club including Matt Adamson who left at the end of 2004.

However, after this, he very nearly left to join a Super League rival.

“I was approached by Bradford Bulls,” he revealed to Serious About Rugby League, “But I would never play for another Super League club. I anticipated that when I finished with Leeds I was going to retire, but it was always more about the challenge which is why I joined Canberra Raiders.

“The Raiders offered me the chance to go again in 2006 but my body was buggered.”

If he had left for the Bulls, he would have been joining the club Leeds beat in the Grand Final after he had been heart-breakingly dealt the disappointment of missing out on the decider.

Whilst in the Australian capital he tried to tempt Leeds legend Danny McGuire to Canberra:

“I did try and get Danny Mags to Canberra, I think he would have really excelled in the NRL. Many have come to Australia and been highly successful and I think Danny would have been great.”

He did the same when he coached at Melbourne:

“I tried to get Kallum Watkins to Melbourne Storm and Ryan Bailey. So, I certainly had faith in those guys that they could have competed quite comfortably at that level as could Sinny and Mark Calderwood and Chev Walker.”

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