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“I pushed it away” – The inside story of Nene MacDonald’s move to Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos’ last signing for the 2023 Super League season was probably one of their most important after the exits of Zak Hardaker to Leigh Leopards and Liam Sutcliffe to Hull FC.

The Rhinos brought in exciting centre Nene MacDonald from Leigh to take on the number four shirt for the new season.

Speaking to Serious About Rugby League, MacDonald underlined his excitement at joining the club:

“I am very excited, coming through the changing rooms and seeing all the history the club. I can’t wait to get out there.

“They have a big reputation down under especially from the guys who have played for them and I spoke to a few boys and they say such high remarks about the club. They are such a big part of Super League and it’s very exciting to be part of it.”

He also revealed that the talk started during the World Cup but he pushed them aside to focus on Papua New Guinea.

In the end it was a former Kumul who helped him make the decision as he was left stuck between a few options:

“It came late. There was talk about it during the World Cup campaign but I pushed it away to focus on that but once that was done, and to be coached by Rohan, to here from Rhyse and Paul and others, made it an easy decision.

“I was stuck between making a decision with a few clubs and I spoke to Paul Aiton and he said if there is one club he wishes he would have stayed at longer it was Leeds and he told me if I had a chance to join then I should take it with both hands.”

He also said the Rhinos’ potential for success was key in his decision:

“That was a massive part of it, they are a successful club and got so far last year and I want to be part of the team that goes all the way and hopefully if we stay fit and get all the way to the G F and get the job done.

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