Leeds Rhinos have received a massive boost ahead of tonight’s Betfred Super League clash with forward Matt Prior having agreed a new two year contract with the club that will keep him at Emerald Headingley until at least the end of the 2023 Super League season.
Prior joined the Rhinos at the start of last season from NRL side Cronulla Sharks and has been a mainstay of the side ever since, captaining the team at times this season. He was due to be out of contract at the end of the current campaign but has now agreed a new deal. The former New South Wales Origin forward is the Rhinos top tackler this season and recently was vice captain for the Combined Nations All Stars team that defeated Shaun Wane’s England side.
A double NRL Grand Final winner, Prior won the Challenge Cup in his first season at the Rhinos in 2020.
Commenting on the new contract Prior, 34, said, “I am really pleased to have got it sorted as it has been going on for a little while now. I can focus on my footy now for the remainder of the season. The club offered me another year on top of the additional season I had an option for and I was glad to accept that as there are some exciting times ahead here at the Rhinos.
“It has been tough since we moved to England because of the Covid restrictions but there is light at the end of the tunnel now and I think the best is yet to come for me, my family and the Rhinos in my time at the club.
“I love the club. I have really enjoyed coming to training every day. The boys are a great bunch of blokes to be around and that is massive for me. The club as a whole is in a really good spot in terms of the make up of our squad. We have got a lot of good young guys coming through but we’ve also got some good senior blokes too. It’s a good club to be part of and I think it is a good time to be here,” added Prior.
Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield commented, “We are delighted to have agreed a new deal with Matt. It was a big decision for him especially with his young family. For anyone to be away from their loved ones is tough but during the global pandemic that has been particularly hard on all our overseas players. Matt has shown outstanding leadership with his actions on the field and he is a great example for our young forwards at the club.”
Head Coach Richard Agar added, “Matt has been fantastic for us during his time at the club and I don’t think you can underestimate how important this new deal is for the club and him. I know he has become a fans favourite and it will be great to see the reception he gets tonight when our fans return for the game against Salford.”