The reason behind ex-Leeds Rhinos player James Segeyaro’s move to France

It was confirmed yesterday that former Leeds Rhinos hooker James Segeyaro had signed for Lezignan.

In somewhat of a surprise move, the 31-year-old will link up with the French Elite One Championship side after brief spell at Manly.

Since his infamous stint in Super League with Leeds, which saw Segeyaro walk out on his contract, the Papua New Guinea international has played for Cronulla Sharks, Brisbane Broncos and the Sea Eagles.

However, during this period, he has struggled to muster up 50 appearances among the three NRL sides and has found himself scrambling for a deal on numerous occasions.

This was no different following the 2022 campaign and with no NRL teams interested in Segeyaro’s services this time around, he has decided to try make the move overseas again.

In 2016, the PNG hooker signed for Leeds midway through the season and after excelling, scoring six tries in ten games, he agreed a two-year deal with the club.

However, Segeyaro never returned to Headingley following that season, walking out on the deal after going back to Australia – later citing homesickness as his reasoning.

Six years later and Segeyaro will now return to Europe, this time to France, and the details behind the move have been given by media outlets in Australia.

Segeyaro is business partners with another new Lezignan signing, Corey Norman, who joined recently after a season in Super League with Toulouse Olympique.

Segeyaro, Norman and former Wakefield Trinity player Isaac John collectively run the clothing brand You Know The Rules (YKTR) which was launched, ironically the year Segeyaro played for Leeds, in 2016.

The brand has grown in popularity in recent times and has a collective social media following of close to 200,000, with the trio of former NRL and Super League players having great success away from the game.

Segeyaro is keen to be closer to Norman as they try to push the brand across Europe, while also allowing the pair to prolong their rugby league careers in the process.

The season in France’s domestic division runs from September to April, with Lezignan, who also have former great James Maloney in their ranks, winning three of their first four games to date.

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