Boudebza: I didn’t leave because of relegation

John Boudebza has left Hull KR to join French club Lezignan but he insists it was not because the club will be playing in the Championship next season.

Boudebza spent two seasons with the Robins. The 26-year old has signed a one-year deal with the Elite One side, who he played for from 2012 to 2014.

Boudebza admitted he turned down a new contract with Hull KR earlier this year.

“If they were in the Championship I would still be playing for them,” he said.

Hull KR was great for me. We talked about a new contract in February and March but I refused.

“It was a gamble. Then I injured my hip on Easter Monday and struggled to play with injections until I had surgery.”

Before arriving in East Yorkshire Boudebza spent three years at Lezignan, which he admitted made the decision a relatively simple one when on the hunt for a new club.

“I was there before Hull,” he told Love Rugby League.

“It was my old club and the chairman and coach said to me the door will always be open.”

Boudebza might not feature for his new team for a while due to the injury he picked up back in March, but the hooker is determined to come back stronger.

“It is a long process. I am doing rehab every day,” he said.

“I am hoping to be back in two months and am really looking forward to getting back out onto the pitch.”

Looking ahead to the World Cup next year, Boudebza saw plenty of encouraging signs for a large proportion of France’s recent match against England.

England were trailing 6-0 courtesy of an Eloi Pelissier try before coming from behind and doing enough in the second half to secure a 40-6 victory.

Boudebza has played six tests for France.

“With Australia, England and Lebanon in our group it will be really tough,” he said.

“We saw a good French side against England, the first 50 and 60 minutes was good.

“The positive is we now have time to improve and make sure we are as good as we possibly can be in time for when for the World Cup starts next year.”

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