The Gold Coast Titans have shocked quite a few this morning with Kruise Leeming drafted in for his debut just days after arriving in the country.
It is a late change to the side which sees Klese Haas come out of the planned 17 and Leeming start on the bench set to become Titan number 183 as he wears the number 19 jersey today.
The 27-year-old has 187 games of Super League experience, scoring a try in last season’s grand final.
Titans Coach Justin Holbrook said he was looking forward to Leeming linking up with the squad in the coming weeks.
“Kruise has runs on the board in the hooking role and has shown what he can do in the English competition for many years now,” Holbrook said.
The move comes after Leeming submitted a request to the Rhinos to leave the club.
Leeming joined the Rhinos in 2020 and helped them to the Challenge Cup in his first season.
In 2021 he was sensational making the Super League Dream Team and making his England debut.
Last year he was continuing his fine form in a struggling Leeds side until he picked up an injury. This saw Jarrod O’Connor displace him as Leeds’ first choice nine which is why Leeming looked for a move away from Headingley.
The most interesting thing about Leeming’s move to the Titans though is the fact he has only signed a deal for the rest of the season leaving the door firmly open for him to return to Super League in 2024.
This was something Barrie McDermott predicted recently:
“Will we see him grow and progress and develop over the year in the NRL and then in 2024 after what may well be a short term deal, he might come back in 2024 to a club like St Helens, Warrington, Wigan might be Catalans Dragons.”
This could favour a team like St Helens with James Roby retiring or indeed the Warrington Wolves if rumours of a Daryl Clark move to Saints are true.
Speaking on Sky Sports tonight, Jenna Brooks revealed that if he returned to Super League he could join either Champions St Helens as Roby’s replacement or perhaps the Catalans Dragons.
She said: “His preference is to stay in the NRL but if he comes back to Super League I would expect either St Helens or the Catalans Dragons.”