Leeds Rhinos rallying around Zak Hardaker, says Jamie Jones-Buchanan

Drew Darbyshire
Zak Hardaker Leeds Rhinos PA

Zak Hardaker in action for Leeds in 2015

Leeds interim coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan says the club are doing everything they can to support Zak Hardaker after he suffered a suspected seizure.

Hardaker, 30, has been stood down by Leeds for medical reasons. He suffered a suspected seizure whilst on a walk with his young son after his first day of training with the Rhinos on Tuesday.

The England World Cup hopeful was helped by a paramedic on the street where he had collapsed. He was taken to Pinderfields Hospital where had a number of tests before being safely discharged home.

Jones-Buchanan said he was surprised when he was told about Hardaker’s health scare.

He said: “It was really unexpected. Me and the boys have been talking for the last five weeks about controlling the things you can control… Some things just pop up completely unexpectedly.

“Firstly, our first thoughts are with Zak, his health and making sure he is alright.

“The club has responded really well. They’ve got him everything he needs in terms of medical advice and support and we will continue to do so.

“I’ve told the boys to send him a message or give him a call when they can just to let him know that we are all thinking about him.

“We can’t wait to see him back. There is still a lot of the season to be played and I’m sure he’ll make some big contributions.

“I just think it underpins the fact that for whatever reason he is not quite well. I’m not a clinical phsyiologist – physical or mental – but we need to look after Zak. We need to make sure he’s good and make sure he’s got an opportunity to be a better version of himself.”

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Jones-Buchanan, who will assist new head coach Rohan Smith who arrives next week, says it is too early to say when Hardaker will be back in action.

He added: “We’ll see what the tests come back with. From early on they are pretty good, everything seems alright so he might be alright for the next game.

“We’ve got a couple of weeks now because of the Challenge Cup gap. Ultimately, we will have to have a conversation with the doctors and make sure absolutely everything is fine for him to go and play rugby.”

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