New Leeds signing Greg Eastwood has spoke to LastTackle.com of his relief at finally being able to sign for the Yorkshire outfit.
The no-nonsense Kiwi agreed a deal to sign for the Rhinos in 2009 but visa complications prevented the move from going ahead and Eastwood ended up signing for NRL side Canterbury on loan.
The 22-year old scored a vital debut try for the Bulldogs on his debut in a 28-26 victory over Penrith Panthers.
But after a successful appeal, Eastwood finally sealed a deal with Leeds for 2010 and says he is delighted to be given the chance in Super League.
“It was a bit frustrating at times as I didn’t know where I was going to end up,” he revealed. “The Bulldogs got me in there for a year. I always wanted to come over here though so now I’ve got the chance to be here, I want to pay back the club.
“When it came up, I had a think of it and it all just happened from there.
“I didn’t really consider coming over to Super League before but it’s a really successful club so it was good for me at the time.
“Every game they played last year I tried to watch. I got up at like three in the morning to watch the final which was good.
“I definitely want to see out the three years on my contract and see how it goes from there. But I’m enjoying it so far so who knows? I’m still young yet.”
Eastwood has settled in well at Leeds and is impressed with what he has seen so far.
Despite the snow hampering the pre-season schedule, the New Zealand international has been able to knuckle down and is raring to go.
He added: “I’ve just been working hard and getting my wrist right and getting my strength back.
“It’s really professional all around at the club. If it’s like that off the field, it will reflect on the field.
“There’s joking but when it’s time to go to work, the boys really dig in. But when it’s time to switch off, the boys can have a laugh which is good.
“We’ve been training inside at Soccercity quite a bit. It’s good-different but I prefer to be inside than outside, it’s too cold!”
Leeds take on Melbourne Storm in the World Club Challenge early on in the new season.
It’s a side Eastwood knows all to well. The former Brisbane star has come across the NRL Champions on numerous occasions and will be at hand should boss Brian McClennan need any tips.
“I’m sure when the time comes and it gets close to the game, they’ll ask me how they play over there but they’re very good coaches and they analyse things really well,” he explained.
“They’ve just been trying to get me time on the field first though.”
The current Super League Champions have won three Grand Finals in a row now and Eastwood reckons it is down to the high class of certain individuals.
Asked who he thought the key players were at Leeds, he replied: “Jamie Peacock, he’s one to look up to and one of the best forwards in the game.