McNamara backs Hall decision

Blackpool Citizen: Ryan Hall has penned a new deal with Leeds Ryan Hall has penned a new deal with Leeds

England coach Steve McNamara has welcomed the decision of Leeds winger Ryan Hall to sign a new five-year contract, claiming it sends out "a pretty strong message".

The 26-year-old Hall, England's record try-scorer with 21 touchdowns in 20 appearances including eight in five matches at the 2013 World Cup, has committed his future to the Rhinos and to Super League until the end of 2018.

Although he had three years left on his existing contract with his home-town club, Hall's decision to extend his stay beyond his 30th birthday ensures he will not be following England team-mates Sam Tomkins and Sam Burgess out of Super League.

Tomkins is now with New Zealand Warriors in the NRL, while Sydney-based Burgess will switch codes and join Bath in October.

"It's fantastic news," McNamara told Press Association Sport from Australia, where he is working as an assistant coach at Sydney Roosters.

"A player of his quality is going to be in demand. I think every club in Super League would love to have him and there is rugby union and the NRL, so for Leeds to secure his services for that length of time is a huge coup first and foremost for the Rhinos and for rugby league in general.

"I don't know specifically of any interest from the NRL but everyone talks very highly of Ryan in Australia and I'd be surprised if there wasn't any. With a few years left on his contract, it would have been really difficult for an NRL club but to extend it is a smart thing that Leeds have done.

"With an England rugby union World Cup on the horizon, I am sure Ryan was targeted and spoken about a lot by people in rugby union looking to strengthen in certain areas.

"I think we all had fears that we might lose another player or two but Ryan's one of our star players in the competition and the England team and to keep him sends a pretty strong message."

Hall's decision comes six months after another England winger, Tom Briscoe, rejected the chance to move to the NRL in favour of a move from Hull to Leeds.

"As I've said all along, living in Australia and playing in the NRL is great but it's not for everybody," McNamara added. "There are people who it suits and people it doesn't suit.

"I am sure both those players have their reasons for moving to and staying with Leeds and it's great for our game and certainly our domestic competition."

Hall, a four-time Grand Final winner, has spent his entire career with the Rhinos, scoring 158 tries in 197 appearances, but had been linked in the past with a move to Wigan.

"I think everyone who loves rugby league and loves watching Super League will be pleased by this announcement," Leeds coach Brian McDermott said.

"To agree a new long-term contract with a player like that, which will take him through until he is 30, is testament to the culture at this club and the commitment these players have to one another."

Hall made his debut in 2007 and has since gone on to become the 10th highest try-scorer in Super League, helping the Rhinos to Grand Final glory in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

"I am really pleased to get the new deal agreed," he said. "I have always signed long-term contracts with the club and I never had any intention of going anywhere, but it is nice to feel that the club want me.

"This is a great club, who do things the right way, and I want to be part of helping the club move forward over the next few years.

"There is a great nucleus of players here who want to stay together and achieve more success for Leeds Rhinos.

"We are well looked after by the club and, as a group of players, we set high standards for ourselves and that is a great environment for an elite player to be in."

Hall, who made his England debut in 2009, has scored two tries this season in Super League to help Leeds sit third in the table with four wins from their five games.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree