Jamie Jones-Buchanan addresses Zak Hardaker rumours

Jamie Jones-Buchanan Leeds Rhinos SWpix
Photo: Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/SWpix

Jamie Jones-Buchanan said he would welcome Zak Hardaker back to Leeds Rhinos, but the ultimate decision lies with incoming head coach Rohan Smith and Gary Hetherington.

Hardaker, 30, has been released from his contract at Wigan and the England international is now on the hunt for a new club closer to his home in Yorkshire.

He remains a free agent, with a select few teams rumoured to be considering a move for the full-back, winger or centre.

One destination that could be a potential is his former club in Leeds. Hardaker enjoyed plenty of success at Headingley Stadium. He made more than 150 appearances for the club, and was named Man of Steel during his stint in 2015.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan on potential Hardaker signing

Addressing the speculation after his side’s win over Toulouse, Jones-Buchanan said: “I hope Zak’s well, first and foremost. As you know, I’ve got some really fond memories with Zak. 

“What stood out with me is when we made ‘As Good As It Gets’ is how forthcoming he’s always been with the difficulties and challenges he’s had.

“He’s had problems when he was with Castleford, England and Wigan, but he never hides behind it. He’s always first to put his hand up and admit that.

“There’s a lot of his old friends in there (Leeds) that love Zak to bits. We all recognise the character that he is. 

“I’d be more than willing to go put my arms around him and help him out in any way.

“Talking about culture and it’s really important, especially for these young blokes, that we get the right people in who will set the right example.

“Again, that would be up to Rohan and Gary Hetherington as to whether they’re going to let Zak in.

“His potential as a player is phenomenal, so in that regard, yes, I would for sure. Would I be willing to put my arm around him and look after him? Absolutely, without a doubt. But that would be up to Rohan and Gary as to whether that could happen.”


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About Josh McAllister 1307 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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