Many were shocked when Kruise Leeming left Leeds Rhinos.
So was the man himself after three good years at the club.
He said on Five Live:
“It’s not something I would have predicted, shocked, overwhelmed, excited and really happy though. It’s been a burning desire of mine to play in the NRL from a very young age.
“I’ve wanted to test myself against the top teams in the world and the top players. Super League has got a load of them and NRL has got a load of them as well, it’s different, it’s out of my comfort zone and away from home. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity.
“The opportunity came up, these things happen in professional sport. If I’d been going to another Super League team it would have been more difficult, it would have been harder for me to do it.”
He is sorry to leave Headingley however:
“I’ve still got a lot of friends at Leeds and I’m still connected with Leeds so I’ll be supporting from afar but moving to the other side of the world where I’ve wanted to test myself was an easier move and easier decision for me to make, but it was still tough.”
But ultimately a move suited both parties:
“It suited both parties, it suited me, it suited Leeds and the coach and then we made it happen between us all. To my understanding everyone was happy about it and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
Surprised by this, Kevin Brown was left confused by why Leeds let him go: “I’m surprised such a good player is allowed to leave a club, and a top club at that. I think any Super League club would love to have Kruise, I thought they would have really wanted him as a captain and a leader and that they’d have fought for him.”
But Leeming said there was no fallout: “No there wasn’t a fallout, it seemed to suit the coach and the club at this time. For me to make a decision on it, it was an opportunity that I’d always wanted to do and I felt like there’s a sell-by date on things sometimes. I was at Huddersfield and then moving to Leeds, in every walk of life and every job that anybody does sometimes it becomes the same thing and to grow and improve me as a player I need different challenges.
“This challenge to go away from my family, move to the other side of the world and challenge myself against the best players in the world was something that took me out of my comfort zone. I know that however the experience goes, whether I stay for a number of years or come back, I know that it’s going to improve me as a player.
“My time at Leeds I’ve got nothing but fond memories, nothing but good things to say but it was my time to move on and it seemed to suit both parties.”