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Exclusive: Nathaniel Peteru not ruling out a return to Leeds Rhinos

Nathaniel Peteru made the switch to Super League back in 2018 joining the 2017 Champions Leeds Rhinos from Gold Coast Titans.

Since then he’s made quite the impression endearing himself to a number of clubs. After two years at Headingley, he spent a year at Hull KR before joining Leigh Centurions ahead of the 2021 season as a key signing for the club as the aimed to maintain their Super League status.

After 11 appearances for the Centurions in Super League in which he notched an impressive 19 offloads, he took up an exciting opportunity at Huddersfield Giants under Ian Watson joining the club for the latter half of the campaign.

In an exclusive interview with Serious About Rugby League, Peteru explained his decision to leave Leigh and why joining the Giants was an opportunity he couldn’t miss.

“I left leigh mid season for a variety of reasons,” Peteru told Serious About Rugby League, “But ultimately I needed a more professional environment. So when Ian Watson called I jumped at it and didn’t look back.

“It ended up being a great move for me and my family. In hindsight I wish it had happened earlier but I have no regrets making the move mid-season.

“It was a bit odd playing against Leigh in the last game of the season but it was good to finish off at Huddersfield on a positive note with a strong win.”

At Huddersfield he made 12 appearances in Super League crossing for three tries, an impressive total for a forward. His offload game continued to thrive as he notched 25 during his time at The John Smith’s Stadium taking his tally all the way up to 44 which was the second most in Super League.

His time under Ian Watson certainly brought the best out of him and Peteru admitted he wished he could have stayed: “I really enjoyed my time there at the Giants. Yes, I would’ve like to have stayed but I don’t make the quota spot rules up and it’s a business model. Knowing they didn’t have any quotas available in 22’ I went there with the mentality I had nothing to lose and it probably helped with my performances.”

He also spoke highly of Head Coach Ian Watson: “Being more of a senior player there I knew younger boys looked to me & looking back I probably thrived off that. Watto [Ian Watson] encouraged me to play my style in his system which helped  the transition.

“I’ve had some ok coaches in the UK but his rugby league IQ is definitely up there with the best coaches I’ve worked with so far.”

But where next for powerful forward?

Peteru gave an update about what the future could hold for him going into 2022: “I haven’t signed anywhere yet. I’ve had offers & talks but my next move is important for my career so I haven’t rushed into anything.

“I’m on the look out for a challenge whether that be in rugby league or rugby union.”

In the off-season Peteru has kept himself busy admitting he’s very into tech and has been enjoying that alongside time with his son: “Since the season finished I’ve had more time to focus on my other interests and that’s crypto & block chain tech. I’m a bit of a tech nerd but I believe that’s the future & what’s keeping me busy as well as my son.”

Enjoying life off the field, it seems Peteru is in no rush to make a decision about his future but is very ready to continue building on an impressive first four years in Super League since making the switch in 2018.

Reflecting on making the move to Leeds four years ago, Peteru said: “All my time at the Rhinos was good and I wouldn’t rule out a return there in the future.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Richard Pearcey

    January 1, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Nathan was an outstanding player for the Giants last season (in my humble opinion) and was disappointed that he could not remain with us. GOOD LUCK TO HIM.

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