Leeds Rhinos exclusive: Paul Momirovski explains Headingley move, embracing expectation and ‘major factor’ in decision to sign

John Davidson
Paul Momirovski Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Bring it on – that’s the message from new signing Paul Momirovski as he embraces the pressure and expectation at new club Leeds Rhinos.

Momirovski is no stranger to pressure after spending most of his career at NRL heavyweights Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers.

The Australian centre was part of the 2018 Roosters side that won the Premiership, but missed out on the Grand Final, and then played in Penrith’s breakthrough 2021 Grand Final victory over South Sydney.

Momirovski, who is of Macedonian heritage, has swapped Randwick for Roundhay and joined Leeds on a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old is aware of where the Rhinos sit in the Super League food chain and knows the Loiners want to be challenging for trophies this season.

“Yeah definitely, the allure of a club like Leeds Rhinos is that they are a front-runner club that demands success,” he told Love Rugby League.

“I guess I’ve been at a couple of those in the past and that gets the best out of me as well. The amount of quality players we have, and the fans demand the same thing, so it (contending for the title) is not something we will shy away from.

“We’ve got great players and it’s up to us to put that together and work hard in this pre-season to find a process and to find a way for us to come together as a team.”

Momirovski says Leeds have not set any specific goals for 2024 but he has been impressed by the talent at the club.

The Sydney-born centre has been joined at Headingley by Lachlan Miller, Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers, Matt Frawley and Mickael Goudemand.

“We’re just focusing on the process right now,” he said.

“That’s really been the focus so far. We want to get better every day as a team. We know what the end goal is, but we’re focusing on getting better daily.”

Paul Momirovski: ‘Being Leeds Rhinos was a major factor in it’

Momirovksi arrived in the UK on January 3 and is enjoying adjusting to his new surroundings.

“It’s been really good,” he added. “Getting amongst the boys and the new team is always a good time of the year. The training is solid, but there’s no better way to get amongst your team-mates and share experiences.

“It’s been great, the boys have been really welcoming. It’s always difficult leaving home, I’m a Sydney boy as well. But this is part of the journey for me and something I’m really excited about. I just thought it was a great time to come over and challenge myself.

Leeds are a great organisation, a well-run club, so it’s another big club on the list of my career. There’s not much different in terms of how the club’s run to the others, all the clubs I’ve been at have been run really well.

“Being Leeds Rhinos was a major factor in it (the decision to sign).”

Headingley new boy fully fit and raring to go

Momirovski battled significant ligament damage to his shoulder last season and made just three NRL appearances for the Roosters.

But the outside-back made it back on the field for the club’s semi-final defeat at the hands of the Storm and insists he has returned to full fitness.

“The body’s feeling good,” he said.

“I came back at the end of the year in that finals game, it was a big confidence-booster for me. The shoulder was completely fine during that process and it has been fine in pre-season so, injury-wise, I’m good.”

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