Exclusive: Four clubs were interested in signing Leeds Rhinos’ Zak Hardaker

When Zak Hardaker left the Wigan Warriors earlier in the year, there was a lot of clamouring about where he would he end up next.

The fullback or centre wanted to return home to Yorkshire and so, of course, wanted a Yorkshire-based club to come back to.

Hardaker ended up signing for the Leeds Rhinos and the rest, they say, is history, with the 30-year-old enjoying a rejuvenation at Headingley that perhaps no one saw coming.

At the time, the Pontefract-born number one was linked with a whole host of clubs before deciding to sign for Leeds and return to the club that gave him his first opportunity in Super League.

And, now Hardaker has revealed, exclusively to Serious About Rugby League, just how many were interested in getting his signature.

“When I was coming back to Yorkshire, I wanted to come back home and any club was going to be ideal for me just to come closer to home,” Hardaker said.

“Featherstone were interested in signing me as were a few others, but when I found out about Leeds, they were in really in need of me and I was really happy to sign with them. It was a really good fit and it was a good signing.

“There were about four or five other clubs that would have liked to sign me for this year but obviously Leeds was a perfect fit for me.

“It was a club I knew quite well and that I’d been a part of with some good friends there. It was an easy move.”

Since then, Hardaker has gone from strength to strength and has developed into one of the smartest bits of business done during 2022 so far.

Alongside new head coach Rohan Smith, the 30-year-old has helped revitalise the Rhinos with the club now firmly planted in the play-offs.

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