No regrets for McGuire over Leeds departure


Danny McGuire enjoyed a glorious Leeds Rhinos send-off at Old Trafford, before insisting he has no regrets over his decision to leave the club.

McGuire, Super League's record try-scorer, was the unanimous winner of the Harry Sunderland Trophy on Saturday as Leeds thumped Castleford Tigers 24-6 to win their eighth Grand Final.

Having played a part in each of those triumphs, McGuire will continue his career with Hull KR in 2018.

"I made a decision and you've got to stick by it. A new challenge is going to be good for me, but I was really determined to make sure my Leeds career finished on a really positive note," said the veteran half-back.

"We've won a Grand Final, so you couldn't get any better really. It's a fairytale.

"It will be sad - I've been at Leeds since I was a kid, but I think it's the right thing for the club and myself to move on. The club needs to start looking at the future and a new challenge will be good for me."

Asked how Leeds will replace McGuire, head coach Brian McDermott pointed to the retirements of Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai following the Rhinos' triumphant 2015 season.

"I'll just use the same line I used when Kev retired, or JP retired - you don't replace them, you just adapt and just evolve," said McDermott.

"It's the same as two years ago. You don't go and try and find another version of Danny McGuire because there isn't one, and it's the same with Rob [Burrow, who is retiring]. You don't find another version of that, you just adapt."

Prior to Saturday's Grand Final, Castleford - runaway winners of the League Leaders' Shield - had won eight successive meetings with Leeds, including an emphatic 66-10 triumph in March.

Yet the Tigers were comprehensively outplayed by a team who missed out on the top eight last year, leaving McDermott and his players under huge pressure.

"I think when a group of people go through so many emotions together like we have over the last 18 months, you just become a very strong group," McDermott added.

"Castleford have been more skilful than us this year, Castleford have put on better shows than us this year, but I'd question anybody who says they've had more commitment than us this year, certainly towards the back end.

"Grand Finals are won on many different facets, one of them being a sheer bloody-mindedness not to lose."