Identifying the top signings of each club over a period of 25 years is difficult to say the least.
What criteria do we base it on? Rather than individual points scored, we base our choice on the impact each signing had on their respective clubs.
Here are Leeds Rhinos’ top five Super League signings.
Jamie Peacock, who joined the club he supported as a boy – Leeds – in 2006. Whilst with the Rhinos, Peacock won six Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and two World Club Challenges and, by 2012, his contribution to the sport had received national attention – he was awarded an MBE that year. Over the course of ten seasons, Peacock registered 26 tries in 272 appearances, one of which included his 500th career appearance in summer 2014.
Kylie Leuluai moved to England – and more specifically Leeds – ahead of the 2007 season after being a bit-part player in the NRL. Aged 29, the Kiwi enforcer would become one of Leeds’ greatest ever overseas signings. Over the period of nine seasons, the former Manly forward won six Grand Final titles, two World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups to make him the most successful overseas player in Leeds’ history. Leuluai made an impressive 258 appearances in a Rhinos shirt and scored 22 tries. In every season after 2011, the forward announced that he would retire at the end of that year, only to reverse his plans and continue on into the next season. It was 2015 when Kylie finally hung up his boots after revealing that he had played that season with an irregular heartbeat.
Signing from Sheffield Eagles ahead of the 1999 season, Keith Senior never looked back on his way to the top. 171 tries in 365 appearances later and the centre had become one of Leeds’ most important three-quarters in the modern game. Senior’s impact at the West Yorkshire club was such that he held the records for the most Super League appearances (413) and tries (199) until he was overtaken in 2012. Senior won four Grand Finals and one World Club Challenge with the club.
Having starred for New Zealand Warriors for five seasons, Brent Webb made the switch to Leeds ahead of the 2007 season. Signing a two-year deal, the fullback stayed for six seasons, scoring 89 tries in 155 appearances as he helped the Rhinos to two Grand Final successes. A livewire at the back, Webb was notorious for his outstanding running game as well as his vocality and the Kiwi will forever be remembered on the terraces at Headingley.
You would be forgiven in thinking that Zak Hardaker actually came through the Leeds ranks, however, the rangy back began his career at Featherstone Rovers. Making the move to Leeds ahead of the 2011 season, Hardaker went from strength-to-strength in a Super League environment, becoming an integral part of the Rhinos’ trophy-winning success in the 2010s. The Yorkshireman moved from centre to fullback, winning the Man of Steel in 2015 after playing a key role in Leeds’ treble-winning season. Of course, Hardaker left the club at the end of 2016, but it didn’t erase the memory of how important he had been for the West Yorkshire club.