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Justin Sangare hoping to win Grand Final as he reveals ex-Leeds Rhinos man’s impact on move

Leeds have confirmed three young forward signings for 2023 as Rohan Smith looks to truly stamp his identity on the club.

The Rhinos have secured the services of Wigan backrow James McDonnell for next year as well as highly thought of York forward Toby Warren.

More signings are set to be confirmed in the coming weeks and months such as Derrell Olpherts and another young forward in Leon Ruan.

But so far the headline arrival as been young French prop Justin Sangare who, despite playing for a struggling Toulouse side this year, has shone especially as a powerful impact sub.

Sangare arrived at Headingley for the first time since making the move this week ahead of playing for France in the World Cup and spoke about his excitement at joining the Rhinos on the club’s YouTube channel describing it as “my dream come true” on the Rhinos YouTube channe;

“I am very excited, it’s going to be a new experience for me. Very excited and very happy,” he said as he also revealed that he watched last week’s Grand Final and was disappointed with the result but is hoping that the club can go one better in 2022: “I was watching the boys and sad that they lost, but we will get them next year I hope.”

A new experience for Sangare moving to England, he has said he will adapt especially after having his first taste of Super League with Toulouse: “I am very excited, it’s a new experience for me. The first time I’ve come to England, very excited and happy. It’s a new era for me.

“I tried the Super League and now I know what is required in Super League now. The best thing is that I’m with Leeds in a new country which means a lot.

“New lifestyle, new country. I will adapt.”

One of the main things that has tempted him to Headingley is the atmosphere at the ground having played their for the first time in 2022: “A couple of players have said to me that the atmosphere at Leeds is awesome, I remember the first time I played at Leeds, you could feel the atmosphere.”

Lastly, he revealed that former Rhino and Toulouse teammate Mitch Garbutt played a role in sealing the deal, telling Sangare what to expect at Headingley.

In Garbutt’s first 14 appearances at the club he won three trophies helping Leeds to the treble. He then went on to win the 2017 Grand Final against Castleford.

If Sangare can emulate that success at Leeds next year, he will be happy no doubt.

On Garbutt’s role in the move, Sangare revealed: “He [Garbutt] said to me, ‘You will enjoy the experience. Everyone will push you to be the best.’”

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