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Hardaker Heads To Penrith As Rhinos Swap For Segeyaro

Hardaker Heads To Penrith As Rhinos Swap For Segeyaro

Wednesday 22 Jun 2016 5:54pm
First Utility Super League champions Leeds Rhinos have agreed a deal with NRL side Penrith Panthers that will see Papua New Guinea international hooker James Segeyaro, 25, move to Headingley Carnegie and the Rhinos and England full back Zak Hardaker, 24, will move in the opposite direction. 
 
The deals are with immediate effect and for the remainder of the 2016 season with a view to a potential long-term arrangement. Hardaker remains transfer listed by the Rhinos for the remainder of his contract whilst Segeyaro is out of contract with the Panthers this year. 
 
In 2014 James Segeyaro rose to prominence with the Panthers when he won he prestigious Dally M award for NRL Hooker of the Year ahead of both State of Origin hookers Cameron Smith and Robbie Farah.
 
Segeyaro lit up the NRL with his electrifying pace out of dummy half, impressive strength on defence, his ability to score from close range and the skill to create something for his team out of absolutely nothing.
 
Hardaker is the incumbent England full back and will get to fulfil his desire to play in the NRL this season. The 2015 Man of Steel signed for the Rhinos in 2011 from Featherstone Rovers and has gone onto make 155 appearances, scoring 67 tries and 45 goals including returning to the side for last Friday's win at Wakefield.  He played in all three Tests for England in their series win over World Champions, New Zealand last year and was part of the England group who met with new Head Coach Wayne Bennett last week.
 
The Rhinos do not have a game this weekend following their elimination from the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in the last round. It is anticipated that Segeyaro will arrive in the UK next week and be available for selection for the Rhinos next game against Widnes Vikings on Sunday 3rd July at Headingley Carnegie. 

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott commented, "It is pleasing that we have been able to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Zak goes with out best wishes and I am pleased for him that he has been able to fulfil his ambition of playing in the NRL. When Zak came to us to request a move, it was always going to be important that we were able to strengthen our group and in James Segeyaro we have a great opportunity to bring in a highly rated player into our group." 

Photo Credit: SWpix.com